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Some files only viewable when you explore. Why?

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by Chum, Dec 7, 2001.

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  1. Chum

    Chum Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2000
    I have a folder under Windows called local settings/temporary internet files. If I double click it, there is nothing, but if I right click it and select explore...it shows another folder called...content I.E 5. If I explore this one, there are 4 more folders called...


    All of these last 4 folders appear to contain the same files. A whole bunch of image files(some offensive)! If I try-select all- (to
    delete) explorer stops responding. I had to hold down the control key and select each one individually to get rid of them(tedious)!

    First question...Why do they only show up using explorer?(I have file options set to "show all files")

    2. Is there an easier way to safely remove these?(disc cleanup did not remove them-or I was using it wrong)
  2. Anne Troy

    Anne Troy

    Feb 14, 1999
    First Name:
  3. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

    Aug 26, 2001
    To add to Dreamboat's recommendations:

    The Temporary Internet Files folder contains Web pages stored on your hard disk for quick viewing.

    These four odd-named folders are just Windows' little way of organizing things. They're your so called 'security zones'.
    However, no matter which folder you look at you're presented with the same bunch of files.
    Basically, you have to detach yourself from thinking of files and folders in the normal sense, and think of it as Explorer's best attempt to display the cache. You don't have duplicates littering your drive - there is only one copy of every file you see.

  4. Bryan


    Jul 3, 1999
    First Name:
    As far as why you can't see them using Windows Explorer, Windows hides them using a trick involving desktop.ini files and registry entries. If your curious to see them in Windows Explorer, do this,

    Start>Find>Files, key in desktop.ini and press enter. Click on View>Details and then maximize the window. Delete any desktop.ini files found in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Your going to see quite a few desktop.ini files but you only want to delete any in the TIF folder or any subdirectories within the TIF folder. Now you'll be able to see them in Windows Explorer.

    BTW, it's only temporary because the desktop.ini files are recreated at each startup if they don't exist.

    As far as removing them, this will work but once again the folders are recreated at startup because those folders involve how windows caches content when you browse the net. It's perfectly normal to have them and they're a necessary part of Windows.

    Start>Shutdown>Restart in MSDOS

    deltree /y c:\windows\locals~1\tempor~1\
    deltree /y c:\windows\tempor~1\
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