Check under the hood

If you spend spend a fair amount of time browsing the Web, then it's safe to assume that your PC could be on the verge of overheating. How can you tell? Check the level of your disk cache.
By Len O'Neal September 1, 1998

If you spend spend a fair amount of time browsing the Web, then it’s safe to assume that your PC could be on the verge of overheating. How can you tell? Check the level of your disk cache. Cache is where most recently accessed data, in this case, web pages and graphics, are stored on your PC so they can be retrieved quickly if you decide to access that same data again. The advantages of such a function are evident; however, without proper maintenance on your part, you may find valuable hard drive space being used up by outdated and useless files. So get under the hood and empty your disk cache.

Naturally, the two most popular browsers, Netscape’s Navigator/Communicator and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, have different approaches to handling this task, and different versions of the same browser add even more variations. In Netscape, the key is to look for Disk Cache under the Edit/Preferences menu option (version 4.0 and higher) or the Options/Network Preferences menu option (older versions). As for Internet Explorer, cached files are referred to as temporary files, and access to these files is usually via the View/ Options or Edit Preferences menu option, again, depending on versions. The next step in either browser is to look under the Advanced option. Once you find the location of your disk cache settings, go ahead and empty it. If you search the Web like I do, your PC will thank you.