Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook Express tweak guide



Internet Options

Load Internet Explorer, click Tools, Internet Options & select the General tab.

Home page. This specifies the Internet Explorer homepage. A specific address can be entered in the Address field if desired. Alternatively, pressing the Use Current button will set the currently loaded page as homepage. Use Default sets that the installation defined default homepage be used (This may be a Microsoft website, or the PC manufacturers site for example). Use Blank specifies that a blank page be used as home page.

Temporary Internet files. Now click the Settings button.

Check for newer versions of stored pages. When viewing a webpage, data is cached into the temporary internet files folder, this setting determines how Internet Explorer checks whether it has the latest version of a cached file when returning to a previously viewed page.

Every visit to the page. This specifies that Internet Explorer will check for new data each time the page is loaded. This can result in longer loading times but ensures the page you are viewing isnít out of date.

Every time you start Internet Explorer. This option specifies that Internet Explorer will check for new data only during a new Internet Explorer session or the day after, i.e. if you load a webpage that you had previously viewed 1 hour ago without restarting Internet Explorer it wonít check for updated versions of cached data for that page.

Automatically. This option performs as the pervious option but also will reduce the frequency of checking for updated data on pages where the content is changed infrequently. 

Never. Selecting this option specifies that Internet Explorer will not check for newer versions of cached data. This can make the chances of viewing old content on sites very likely, so try not to use this should you have a high cache size.

Personally Iíd recommend setting this to Every visit to the page, particularly if bandwidth isnít a consideration (i.e. youíre not on dial-up). Those on V.92 or slower modems would be better served by selecting Every time you start Internet Explorer or Automatically.

Amount of disk space to use. This field specifies the size, in MBs, of the temporary internet files folder. This is used to cache all data for the webpages you view. Should you visit certain websites repeatedly this cache can improve loading times as data for the webpage may already exist in the cache. That said, thereís no point going nuts with this setting and setting aside a large amount of space Ė itís merely intended as a temporary cache. Though this may vary depending on how many repeat viewing webpages you visit there should no real need to set aside more than 1 or 2 dozen MBs for this. Personally I use just 5MB. As per the previous option Internet Explorer also checks for newer versions of cached data so there is no need to store too much anyway as youíll probably be downloading newer versions regularly.

Move Folder. Select this button should you wish to change the location of the temporary internet files folder.

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View Files. Selecting this button loads the temporary internet files folder, should you wish to view whatís stored in it.

View Objects. Selecting this button loads the downloaded program files folder, which displays all downloaded ActiveX controls & such, e.g. WUWebControl Class is used by Windows Update. Right clicking on a control allow you to update it, remove it or view its properties.

Click Ok once finished.

Delete Cookies. Clicking this button will delete all cookies stored in the temporary internet files folder. Cookies are useful files created by sites and can store various information, e.g. login information so you needed login every time you load, say, a forum or webmail site. On the other hand they are also used to store personal information and usage tracking for advertisers and such. Though Iíll be covering Cookies in more detail in later section you may again want to consider using this feature every once in a while.

Delete Files. Clicking this button will deleted all cached data in the temporary internet files folder except for cookies. You should consider doing this every once in a while to remove unneeded cached data (From a webpage you once visited once for example).

History. This field sets the number of days that links for pages viewed are stored for. This may be useful if you want to keep track of what others using the PC are viewing or if you want to be able to check what out a recently viewed webpage whose URL youíve forgotten. If this doesnít seem like much use then set it to 0.

Clear History. Clicking this button deletes the history files stored on the PC. This is presumably useful if others are using the PC and you donít want them to know what webpages youíve been visiting ;) History can be viewed in Explorer by clicking the History button (Alternatively click View, Explorer Bar, History).


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