(updated 12/12/2012)

Clearing the caches, managing email, compacting email folders...


For Internet Explorer...

Clearing the cache and history can be accomplished by pulling down the TOOLS menu and selecting INTERNET OPTIONS. On the GENERAL tab, you can delete temporary files by clicking the Delete Files button. You will be prompted to "Delete all files in the Temporary Internet Files folder?", and to "Delete all offline content".

By proceeding, you will remove files that have been downloaded to your PC and saved locally (to speed up the repeated loading of the same webpage contents - important with dial-up connections, less important with high-speed connections). On PCs with large hard drives, there may be thousands of files of all sizes (primarily small) taking up space and slowing file management functions down - functions like virus scans and drive defragmentation.

For the space reserved for cached files, a good limit is 20 MB - any more than that is excessive.

While in this same window, you can clear the history of websites you have visited and choose your home page. On other tabs you can change your connection method, change security and content settings, etc.


For Outlook Express...

Email can accumulate over time and become an unwieldy mess that you may be reluctant to throw out (in case there really is something in all of it that you'll want or need later). There is also no easy way to back up email, so valuable information can be lost if email is left unmanaged. Here are some suggestions...

1) If you have received (or sent) an email that you will not be keeping, delete it immediately.

2) If you have received (or sent) something that you need to keep in original email format (like a receipt or other binding correspondence), put it in a self-created folder appropriately named for email of its type (Business, Clubs, Family, Finance, Purchases, etc.) Creating new folders is an option in the pull-down File menu of the mail area of Netscape. Go through these folders periodically to see if what you have kept still needs keeping, and delete what you no longer need.

3) If you have received (or sent) something that you can keep in a standard file format, break the email down into its components and store the data appropriately with your other data files. Extract text and move it into stand-alone word processing files (perhaps in diary form - with sender and text together in chronological order). Extract images and save them as stand-alone image files (or keep them in word processing files along with their accompanying text). Extract appended files and keep them organized with files of the similar type in self-created folders on your hard drive.

4) To truly delete email you have received (or sent), you must delete it three times. Email that has been deleted from any folder winds up in the Trash folder. To be rid of it from there, you must delete it again. To be rid of it on your computer, you must compact the folders. Pull down the File menu, choose Folder, then choose "Compact All Folders".


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