Browsers, E-mail, & Web Apps forum

General discussion

IE7: permanently hidden Temporary Internet Files folder?

by make_or_break / December 31, 2006 4:16 PM PST

Running XP Pro SP2. Haven't used IE all that much other than for Windoze updates (typically browse with FF); started playing around with w/ IE7 (build 7.0.5730.11) recently and found that the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) folder seems to be permanently hidden.

Windows Explorer doesn't display the folder under C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings. However through IE7 via Tools\Internet Options\General tab\Browsing History Settings button, I can a open WinExplorer window showing the TIF folder contents by clicking on the View Files button. I also can show the contents in Explorer if I manually type in 'Temporary Internet Files' to the end of the Local Settings address in Explorer's address bar and hit a return. The Folders pane will also refresh and show the TIF folder in that pane of Explorer.

When I do a Properties listing for the TIF folder through the Folders pane, the tick box for Hidden folder is permanently ghosted as checked, so I can't change this in the dialog window. Also, Windows Explorer is already ticked to display all hidden and system folders.

So is this an IE7 thing where the TIF folder and any contents is always hidden from view? Or is there something wrong with the TIF folder for this username?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: IE7: permanently hidden Temporary Internet Files folder?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: IE7: permanently hidden Temporary Internet Files folder?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
reply to: IE7...
by caktus / December 31, 2006 6:13 PM PST

Not very famiar with 7 but does your user account profile have Admin privalages?

Collapse -
IE7 response
by skpsteve / January 6, 2007 12:40 AM PST
In reply to: reply to: IE7...

If you go to folder options make sure that the show hidden files or folders option is checked ALONG WITH THE SHOW OPERATING SYSTEM FILES option is checked. You will find the IE7 temporary internet files in the documents and settings-your profile-local settings directory.

Collapse -
by skpsteve / January 6, 2007 12:51 AM PST
In reply to: IE7 response

I am sorry the hide operating system files box should be unchecked not checked.

Collapse -
Explorer also doesn't show System Volume Information
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 31, 2006 10:53 PM PST

Maybe a better file browser will do this?

Yup, Guyla's Navigator shows it all. Go figure.


Collapse -
Same problem
by Judesman / January 2, 2007 5:06 AM PST

I have recently istalled IE7 and appear to have the same problem. However I always look at the TIFs throgh Internet Optons so I am not sure that the same problem did not exist with IE6.

I am not sure what you mean by "..manually type in 'Temporary Internet Files' to the end of the Local Settings address in Explorer's address bar and hit a return. The Folders pane will also refresh and show the TIF folder in that pane of Explorer." I can't follow that I am afraid.

I don't suppose this is much help but the same thing seems to be happening on my computer.

Collapse -
Re: Same problem
by make_or_break / January 2, 2007 7:46 AM PST
In reply to: Same problem

I figured it out on my machine; don't know if it's the same on all others (I have another XP Pro SP2 box w/ IE6 (company laptop) that still shows the TIF folder), or only with those using IE7.

The TIF folder is apparently now considered a "protected operating system folder". There's a tick box in Windows Explorer in Tools\Folder Options\View called "Hide protected operating system files"; on this machine it was checked. Once unchecked, Windows Explorer shows everything, including the TIF folder. However, the Content.IE5 folder (and any sub-folders) that used to always show up in TIF in earlier versions of Windows and IE is still hidden from Windows Explorer.

Bob: considering that a third-party file navigator can see everything anyways, it would seem that MSFT's apparent "hide" reclassification of the various system folders really isn't doing its job. Thanks for the tip on Gyula Navigator; I'll have to give it a spin.

Collapse -
Similar situation with "Cookies" folder in IE7...
by glenn30 / January 2, 2007 9:18 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Same problem

I cannot find it even with "Show all system files" ticked. If I try to create a cookies folder where I know it exists, a popup indicates a folder already exists... so its there but Windows will not reveal it. Makes me wonder why Microsoft does not want us to see our own cookies. Sad

Just an observation looking for a solution!


Collapse -
make or break, thanks for that. It would be interesting to
by Judesman / January 2, 2007 5:11 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Same problem

know where the Cookies folder is.

Collapse -
IE 7 and hidden stuff
by sasquatchll / January 5, 2007 5:26 AM PST

I used IE 7 during its beta days and for a while after the release but have since switched back to IE 6 where an Internet Explorer based browser is required (Opera and Firefox for EVERYTHING else).

Microsoft has in its inestimable wisdom decided that we, the constant user, are not competent to operate our computers. IE 7, Server 2003 and Vista have all shown us that Big Brother (Microsoft) knows what's good for us.

These creatures hide folders, files and settings from us. They will allow some changes but many of those then generate permanent warnings that we are facing immanent doom.

Security is important and I do like Microsoft. But I think they are getting carried away with it. When I change a setting or install an application, yes, that is exactly what I want to do. I don't need 2-4 confirmations and even then an infernal warning. I may not wish to keep the setting or application, just let me try it in peace for crying out loud.

If you use IE 7 on Server 2003 at the factory (Microsoft default) settings, there are even Microsoft TechNet and MSDN pages you cannot access. This is security gone mad.

And don't get me started about Vista. I have it, but have already replaced it with XP 64 as the constant nagging security pop-ups actually were more bothersome than surfing the net with your pop-up blocker turned off. And as far as I know of, no one has figured out how to make this stop. When someone does I'll go back to vista. It is beautiful, and almost as fast as XP. You still have to use something other than Windows Explorer in Vista to actually handle your files and folders if you want more than just superficial capabilities though.

Collapse -
You Need Some Help
by pmchefalo / January 5, 2007 3:58 PM PST
In reply to: IE 7 and hidden stuff

Basically, what you have been saying is incorrect. If you'd listen instead of write maybe we could help?

Collapse -
UAC Disable
by Sequence / September 4, 2008 4:16 AM PDT
In reply to: IE 7 and hidden stuff

If you want to remove the UAC pop-ups go to Control Panal -> User Accounts -> Turn User Account Control on or off. It is the last link on the user account panal.

Collapse -
Access to Temporary Internet Folder
by super_suzuki / January 5, 2007 5:04 AM PST

Open the directory:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\

Then at the top go to:

l. Tools
2. Folder Options (opens up a new window)
3. View
4. Check the box that says "show hidden files and folders"

Now you can access:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files

Collapse -
Quick come back
by sasquatchll / January 5, 2007 5:30 AM PST

That works with most everything BUT IE 7. IE 7 uses a different means of hiding and protecting its temporary (and some other) folders. You can not delete these folders either.

I have found that Acronis Disk Director can see and delete these folders if needed.

Collapse -
IE 7
by AngelStar958 / January 5, 2007 7:27 AM PST
In reply to: Quick come back

I have a Dell Inspiron B130 Laptop and run Windows XP home. I disabled the download and install function in Windows update as I was constantly finding my system trying to download IE 7 which I didn't want as I heard of a lot of people who had system problems with it. But, all of sudden one day the system reverted to Download and instal and before I could stop it IE 7 was downloaded so I went to system restore to go back to the day before and all my restore points prior to that download had disappeared so I went to my control panel to add/remove programs only to find that the installation of IE 7 had no change/remove button, so I contacted Microsoft and told them all of this only to be told by a customer service rep to go to the add/remove program and click on the change/remove button.....I mean what part of NO change/remove button to be found did they not understand and what was a customer service rep doing answering a technical question that had been sent to the Technical department??
Anyway the upshot of this is I have ben told that I will have to do a total System recovery as they can only offer me a special link download of IE 7 that cannot be removed either, in the meantime my system is messing up big I wondered can anyone help me here as I do not want to have to resort to doing a total recovery as I will lose a lot of work that cannot be saved.
Thank you

Collapse -
Automatic IE 7 Install
by sasquatchll / January 5, 2007 8:13 AM PST
In reply to: IE 7

I'm sorry you have had this happen, Why can you not back up your data. If you have a CD/DVD burner just copy/burn My Documents and maybe Common Files. Then after you re-install you can copy your saved My Documents over the new folders (you should save the My Documents folders from All Users, Administrator and your "User Name" documents folders from Documents And Settings).

After you install your applications you can cherry pick Common Files for folders you might wish to overwrite.

In Documents and Settings you should also see a Favorites and a Cookies folder for each user. Save Favorites for sure and Cookies can also be used to overwrite the new folders to get back to where your old installation was.

In Program files you can save the entire Firefox and Opera Folders to overwrite your newly installed Browsers to get back where you were (you may have to reset a few things but it'll all be there).

There will probably be other folders and files in Program Files you will want to save such as any bittorrent downloads folder (might be found in Documents And Settings/"User Name"/Application Data also) and some .XML files as they will contain user info. Most of these files can just be overwritten onto the newly installed applications.

If you do not have a burner look into partitioning your drive. Some drive maintanance applications such as Acronis or Paragon can partition even your root drive without loss of data. You can then save all this crap to the new partition and reinstall XP to the original partition.

Now, simpler would be if you cannot find a way to get IE 7 off of your system, you might consider installing IE 6 in a stand alone configuration. IE 7 should not give you any trouble other than taking up space so long as you don't use it.

And for those who have not had IE 7 automatically install itself through Windows Update yet and do NOT want it too. Go to:
and download and install IE7BlockerToolkit.EXE, After you extract (run the .exe) you just click on the resulting .cmd file to alter your registry to block the automatic download/install of IE 7. Microsoft does not advertise this solution as they want everyone to use IE 7. But they have made this available as many companies have reasons they want no part of IE 7 as it is now. You do not have to be an Enterprise user to make use of this tool. Anyone can use it, and it is simple and effective. It and can be reversed should you at a later time decide you want IE 7.

Collapse -
Where is TIF folder? The answer is in Make_or_Break's
by Judesman / January 5, 2007 4:43 PM PST
In reply to: Quick come back

post.But how do I find the Cookies folder?

Collapse -
partial solution
by ralphieflaff / January 10, 2007 6:43 AM PST

I found this in a similar thread, it allows you to view all the subfolders in the TIF:

If anyone finds a way to unlock these folders that doesn't require anything other that good old windows explorer, PLEASE let everyone know.

Collapse -
ralphieflaff', many thanks for that. I have found the
by Judesman / January 10, 2007 8:41 PM PST
In reply to: partial solution

Cookies folder in Documents and Settings/User, having unchecked "Hide protected operating system files" I don't know why I didn't spot that when I found the TIF files. Another senior moment I am afraid.

Collapse -
removing ie7 doesn't help nor does installing Acronis
by gwburke2000 / September 30, 2008 10:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Quick come back

removing ie7 was simple enough - but when you re-book ie6 sp2 comes up and you still cannot see the contents of your TIF (Temp Internet File) folder.

As a second course of action i installed Acronis (luckily they have a free trail version) and although you could do some exploring, i could still not see the contents of the TIF folder. Acronis looks like great disk partition software but it's a sledgehammer that misses the fly in this case.

i suspect that big-brother has made the change to WinXP SP3 - not just ie7. in other words get a mac or live with it!

Collapse -
cmd is your friend
by renyad / October 12, 2007 12:34 AM PDT

If you want to get to these folders try this:


In the command box type this exactly:
cd %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\
Then type:
dir /a

You should see all the pesky folders listed.

Collapse -
That does not work...
by glenn30 / October 12, 2007 2:10 AM PDT
In reply to: cmd is your friend

using my Vista. Sad


Collapse -
TU, Worked for me.... but
by Not_A_DoDo / May 11, 2008 4:20 AM PDT

Thank you,
Your instructions worked for me, but I also had to 'untick' hide protected operating system file[recommended]. to be able to see the Temporary Internet Files. It has been a pain as I could access most files via my image program.

When I last accessed both items were unticked and as I didn't change the settings I guess MS did, or that gnome at the bottom of the garden got bored again and decided my PC was free game :}

Again THANK YOU. I can now access information I wanted.

ps, if people stuck to the subject I would have found the answer a lot faster,
"men are like 711"

Collapse -
IE7 or MS now removing GOOGLE icons from desktop?
by vista45 / January 11, 2007 11:23 PM PST

This morning I got a real chocker: my GOOGLE-TALK icon was suddenly gone from my desktop. I use XP Home edition and unofrtunatel several WEEKS ago on automatic update got IE7 without warning. Since then I have had several when I go onto IM both YM and Google Talk don't work at first...BUT, Microsoft Live Messenger (MSN) works just fine I can IM on MS. When I go to surf the net and launch IE7 it says there is no connectivity and offers to diagnose the problem. I click on that and it "diagnoses" the problem and tells me "Connectibity is now restored". But it seems to be creating a problem which it then offers to fix. The last straw was when MS's biggest competitor's "Google Talk" icon was actually removed from my desktop, though. What kind of a dirty trick is this? Anyone else have this problem??????

Collapse -
by ralphieflaff / January 12, 2007 12:08 AM PST

yea it looks like all us poor windows users are in the middle of a corporate geek battle, at the end of which I'm betting all computers will say SORRY YOU'RE NOT PERMITTED TO DO THAT at the log on screen lol!

Collapse -
...of what?
by Ryo Hazuki / January 13, 2007 10:03 AM PST

I'm a Windows user and I don't feel like that at all. I can do whatever I want with my PC and I'm never given that kind of messages. Maybe it's just a question of knowing how to work with a PC, you see?

Collapse -
ok then enlighten me
by ralphieflaff / January 13, 2007 12:28 PM PST
In reply to: ...of what?

Here's my goal: I want **every** folder and file on my computer unlocked and viewable. As it is now, the folders in the TIF folder are only viewable/accessible in the administrator (safe mode). I've been asking and nobody seems to know how to do it... The system files folders, etc. are all set to be viewed (unhidden). I can understand why certain system files won't allow you to delete/move or otherwise mess with them, but why the TIF has been meddled with is a mystery to me although I can venture some guesses. They aren't even viewable when internet explorer is closed. Virus scans are negative. I am using a PC with windows xp pro sp2.

Collapse -
to see your files n folders
by siteshader / January 15, 2007 3:45 AM PST
In reply to: ok then enlighten me

As you know, some of the system files and folders can be shown useing simple property sheet answers, ie. Folder Options.

Some folders you will probably never see.

Some folders require permissions, and still some require polocies.

B4 you go to anything with regard to policies or permissions it would be good to understand inheritance. A lot of folks screw their security up just because they havta see those "Hidden" files/folders.

But then again I wouldn't know as much as I do if I didn't havta see those hidden things either.

You can find answeres in Microsofts KB. or Microsofts developer site.

(Or you can take a qualified class and buy a book or two like I did after screwing up my system a few times).


Collapse -
Here's how to see them.
by urherenow / March 13, 2008 5:57 PM PDT
In reply to: ok then enlighten me

1) get to the tif folder in the command prompt

2) edit desktop.ini (trust me it's there even though you can't see it)

3)Delete the entries in it. <if you simply delete the file, windows will just create a new one>

4) Save and close

5) refresh explorer (click view --> refresh)

all done Silly

Collapse -
and another thing to do/check
by urherenow / March 13, 2008 6:14 PM PDT


see if there is a dword value called ShowSuperHidden. Make sure its value is 1 and create it if it's not there. then do a search for "supperhidden" if there are entries just keep hitting f3 until the end or until you come across a KEY (not binary or dword value) under policies that is called DontShowSuperHidden. If you find it, delete it. Problem solved (otherwise, with the desktop.ini method you would have to know exactly where it is in the first place in order to find it.

Collapse -
How to see the REALLY hidden files
by ruppb / January 9, 2009 1:51 AM PST

Thanks. That is one of the most useful posts I have ever seen.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Having Wi-Fi troubles?

From the garage to the basement, we blanketed every square inch of the CNET Smart Home with fast, reliable Wi-Fi.