Cleaning Internet Explorer Version 6

Howdy and welcome to this weeks fun filled edition of The Weekly Geek!

This week we will discuss how to improve your computers internet performance if you use Internet Explorer (IE). This does not apply to those who use other browsers such a Netscape or Mozilla, or to those who use AOL and Juno’s default login settings.

Have you noticed that you internet browsing is slowing down? Even if you have a high speed connection like DSL or cable you may notice that web pages are pausing before they load. This is caused by the space on your system that is allocated for temporary internet pages and cookies becoming full.

Here we have two options. Both options begin by opening up Internet Explorer (the big blue “e” normally located on your desktop). You do not need to connect to the internet so if you have a log on box that asks for your password close it and select “Work Offline”. Across the top of the IE window are some text drop down menu’s (File, Edit, View and others) this is called the menu bar. On the Menu bar select “Tools” and then “Internet Options” from the drop down menu that appears. A new text box will appear named “Internet Options”. There will be several tabs across the top section. Make sure that you are in the “General” tab. Here, depending on the version of IE you are using you will have several choices in cleaning up the “Temporary Internet Files” section.

By selecting “Delete Cookies” you will get rid of tracking cookies that follow your every move and report back to their proper web site. There is a danger here. If you have a logon name and password stored for a web site, it will probably be here too. If you choose “Delete Cookies” then you will loose the good with the bad so be sure that you have your username and password information written down elsewhere or memorized.

The “Delete Files” button will remove temporary web pages stored on your computer. By clicking on this button a new small window appears with the choices of “OK” or “Cancel” and a box that you should place a checkmark in by clicking in it. This checkbox asks “Delete all offline content”, once it has a check mark select “OK”.

The third button you might have under “Temporary Internet Files” is “Settings”. This is the second option I mentioned at the beginning of this article. This setting is where you are slowed down when browsing. If this reserved space is full then data has to be shuffled according to what the computer thinks you will need. By clicking on this button (Settings) you are brought to a new screen that lets you “Check for newer versions of stored pages”, here I suggest that you mark “Every visit to the Page”. The default of “Automatically” can slow your internet browsing down because while you are looking at web site XYZ the computer is also in the internet trying to updates pages ABC, DFG and any other that it feels like.

Under this same “Settings” box you have a section called “Temporary Internet Files Folder”. This is where you can set aside a certain amount of your hard drive to hold the web site pages. I recommend that you use no more that 300 MB of your hard drive. With today’s large hard drives of 100 Gigabytes (that is 100 billion zero’s and one’s) and larger the space can easily be spared however just 3% of one of these drives is 3 Gigabytes which is larger than most original Windows 95 computers had for a hard drive. This extra space still must be updated and maintained by the CPU so keeping a minimum amount of space provides overall system performance. Select “OK” after you have made your adjustments.

You will be back at the “Internet Options” box. Here you can clear the history of where you have been by selecting the “Clear History” button. This only removes the addresses from the URL box (the white box where you type in; it is also called the address bar). If you frequently use the drop down menu, that the address bar provides, to return to a web site or two then do NOT select this button.

That covers this edition of The Weekly Geek; stay tuned for more tips on optimizing your computing experience.