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Setting a Reasonable Temporary Internet Files Limit

In the old days, we had dialup access and small hard drives. Microsoft chose a rather reasonable 10% of the hard drive for the size of the Internet Explorer “Temporary Internet Files” disk cache. When you request a web page, IE checks first in the Temporary Internet Files to see if you have a recent copy of the page, images on the page and related items.

In the world of 8 GB hard drives, this 10% was no longer a reasonable number, even for dialup users. In today’s world of 200 GB hard drives and especially with high-speed Internet access via cable and DSL, 10% is totally unreasonable.

I recommend setting the Temporary Internet Files, also known as the cache, at 2 to 5 MB if you are using cable or DSL and 10 to 20 MB is you use dialup.


Setting the size of the disk cache, which is the equivalent of the Temporary Internet Files setting in Internet Explorer, is pretty easy in Firefox.

From the menu line, select Tools, and then Options.

When the Options dialog box opens, select the Privacy icon and the the Cache tab. Enter the number of megabytes of disk space you want to use for the cache.Privacy / Cache.

setting cache size in Firefox


Internet Explorer

Setting the maximum space allowed for temporary Internet files in Internet Explorer is done by one of the dialog boxes. First, you need to open the Internet Options dialog box. You can do this from Control Panel / Network and Internet Connections / Internet Options. Or, you can open Internet Explorer and then select Tools / Internet Options from the menu bar.

In either case, this opens the Internet Options dialog box. In the Temporary Internet Files section of the Geberal tab, click on the "Settings.." button.

setting Temporary Internet Files space limit in IE

On this page,you can change the space in several ways: you can use the "Amount of disk space to use" slider, you can use the up/down buttons to change the space, or you can click on the number beside the up/down buttons and type in your own choice.

setting Temporary Internet Files space limit in IE

Then, click "OK" on the Settings dialog box and "OK" on the "Internet Options" dialog box.


Mozilla Suite’s Browser

With the Mozilla Suite, the browser’s cache is in an entirely different location.

From the menu bar, select Edit, then Preferences.

Once the Preferences dialog box shows up, select Advanced and then Cache.

Now, enter the amount of disk space you want to use for cache, in megabytes (MB), and click OK.

setting the web browser cache in the Mozilla Suite's browser

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