Internet Eraser Site

If you want to try to manually delete temporary Internet files here you are more specific information for their locations.

If you were to look at a basic directory listing in command prompt, it would look like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\>cd Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5
C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5>dir
Volume in drive C is PRIMARY
Volume Serial Number is 28A3-15FA
Directory of C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5

File not found

If you were to look at a directory listing with the attributes showing, it would look like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5>dir /a
Volume in drive C is PRIMARY
Volume Serial Number is 28A3-15FA
Directory of C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5

01/15/2007 01:45 PM .
01/15/2007 01:45 PM ..
01/15/2007 01:45 PM 0XHTT9W7
01/15/2007 01:45 PM 2HWEPP1H
01/15/2007 01:43 PM 67 desktop.ini
01/15/2007 01:43 PM I13U7CIU
01/15/2007 01:45 PM 65,536 index.dat
01/15/2007 01:41 PM LL2R7VLH
2 File(s) 65,603 bytes
6 Dir(s) 28,124,192,768 bytes free

The 0XHTT9W7 directory and others are examples. When you open the Temporary Internet files in the TIF directory in Windows Explorer, the information in all of these directories is read by the index.dat file and listed as one directory.

The problem arises when you try to delete Temporary Internet Files - the TIF directory using either the Internet Properties Applet of the Control Panel, or by erasing the files manually from within a Windows folder view. It appears that you have erased all of the files, but you haven't. There are still Temporary Internet Files there. If you haven't checked this for a while, it is possible that you have several MB of garbage in these directories that you thought had been deleted.

1. First visit several web sites.

2. On the Internet Explorer View menu, click Internet Options.

3. On the General tab, click Delete Files

4. Go to Windows Start menu/Run... and start a command prompt window by typing "cmd" (without the quotes). You should be in the C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\ directory at the command prompt. Change the current directory by typing "cd Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5" (without the quotes) and press Enter. Then type "dir /a" (without the quotes). You will see a listing of directories and an index.dat file that should have been erased, but weren't. Each of those directories and the index.dat file has information in it that you wanted erased. On some computers that I have checked, there has been only a few 100k of information. On a few, there have been several MB of unwanted files.

This situation can be solved by doing the following: At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command, and pressing Y if you are prompted to confirm that you want to delete the folder:

1. Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt by pressing F8 before Windows starts to load.

2. At the command prompt, type "cd \Documents and Settings\MyUser\Local Settings" (without the quotes). This step may vary for older Windows versions("cd \Windows" for Windows 98).

3. At the C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\Local Settings\ command prompt, type 'rmdir /s "temporary internet files"' (without the apostrofes, keep the quotes) and then press ENTER. For Windows 98 type "deltree tempor~1"(without the quotes) and press ENTER. Press Y if you are prompted to confirm that you want to delete Temporary Internet Files folder.

4. Restart the computer. Windows will automatically recreate the Temporary Internet Files TIF directory, and it will be clean now.

As part of your regular cleanup on your computer, you should perform the previous and following steps to manually erase the Temporary Internet Files TIF directory. The commands again are as follows:

From Safe Mode with Command Prompt (not from a command prompt window in Windows), make sure the command prompt is at C:\Documents and Settings\MyUser\Local Settings\ , and type 'rmdir /s "temporary internet files"' (without the apostrofes, keep the quotes)

Also note that in older versions of Internet Explorer and/or windows, the Temporary Internet Files folder can be in the \Windows\ folder. You will need to navigate to this folder before you can issue the command above.

So what happens with the Cookies when you delete the TIF directory? They won't be erased. These files are pointers to the actual cookies that are located in the \Documents and Settings\MyUser\Cookies folder. If you manually delete a cookie file from the Temporary Internet Files folder, both the pointer to the Cookies folder and the cookie file located in the Cookies folder are deleted. If you delete the whole TIF folder from command prompt, then you don't delete the original, and when Windows starts up, a copy of the cookies will be put back in the TIF directory.

If you are not familiar with command prompt or just don't have time to follow all the steps to delete temporary Internet Files safely and permanently beyond recovery then you can use the program SmartProtector that will do it for you.