As far as I recall: if you click "tools" and then "internet options" you will get access to "clear history" and also the option of how long to keep entries.

Whilst there you can clear cookies and temp files.

I don't go there for those reasons any more, because I bought "Systems and Internet Washer" which clears all of that and much more in a single process ... have a look if you are interested "http://www.ewasher.net", rather than me trying to list all of the features.

Of course it falls into the "luxury" area - about $39 if you decide to buy after trying - but I can guarantee that it works, does not cause any problems (unless you choose some options which you shouldn't, until you know what is involved) and it makes up for ppl like you and I not having sufficient knowledge to do things for ourselves.

Even since learning a fair bit, I find it more efficient to have this utility, along with Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware SE