Temporary Internet Files Missing Under IE 11

Mark Berry December 4, 2013

This was a strange one. Symptoms:

  • In Word 2010 and Publisher 2010, clip art does not show preview images.
  • Cutting and pasting an image from a web page fails.
  • IE 11 keeps no browsing history, not even during the current session.
  • Trying to download a file fails to display the Open / Save choices.
  • Issues only affect one user on computer.

Analysis

Eventually I discovered that the Temporary Files location was not listed under the recently-installed Internet Explorer 11:

IE 11 Missing Temp Files

Using Move Folder to set the location back its default did not work—it was still blank after the required logoff and logon.

This blog post got me headed in the right direction. The RegEdit solution recommended at the bottom of the article did not solve the problem, but the suggestion to use the command line to look at the folder helped.

I used the attrib command to check the folder:

cd \Users\[user]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\
attrib "Temporary Internet Files"

It turns out the folder had not only System and Hidden attributes, but was also Read Only. Huh? Why? Removing the Read Only flag using attrib –r did not help.

Solution

I finally deleted the Temporary Internet Files folder, as well as the registry keys mentioned in the article. After restarting Internet Explorer, the folder was re-created and appeared in the Current location setting. And all the failing functionality listed at the beginning of this article started working again.

Possible Causes

So what happened? I can think of two possible causes:

  • I recently ran CCleaner under this user’s logon to clean up a bunch of old files.
  • After that cleanup (or was it before?), I turned off roaming profiles and folder redirection in the domain, then joined the computer to a new domain, using the ForenIT User Profile Wizard to migrate settings. This worked fine for at least one other user but maybe got corrupted somehow for this user.


8 Comments

  1. Brian   |  April 07, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    All folders have a read-only attribute.

  2. Don   |  February 01, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Having the same issue. I am unable to delete the Temporary Internet Files folder because a file exists within it that is “in use”. Can’t figure out what is locking it. Any suggestions?

  3. Mark Berry   |  February 01, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Don, have you tried it from Safe Mode?

  4. Ben   |  June 16, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    We just received our new batch of 34 notebooks, and have put them all on our domain.
    The problem is that IE search suggestions won’t work, and users can’t download anything (if they right-click and select ‘Save As’, nothing happens).
    We’ve traced this back to a problem with the ‘Temporary Internet Files’ folder. If we open IE settings, this shows as blank. When we look at the location of the folder (User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\), the folder shows as a shortcut. From looking at other machines, it’s normal for this to show as a shortcut in ‘Appdata\Local’, but it should be a real hidden system folder in User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\.
    This problem only affects domain users, and not local users. Interestingly, if we login with our domain admin account we don’t get the problem, but if we copy this account then the fault appears.
    The work-arounds which solve the problem are:
    1. In IE Settings, select ‘Move folder’ and point it to another location.
    2. Delete the shortcut in ‘User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\’. IE then re-creates it correctly.
    we had done a test with the notebook in the computer OU and the users in the users OU and had all domain level GPOs disabled and still no luck
    However, I suspect this problem is a symptom of a larger issue, and these are just patching up one part of it. Metro apps are all showing with an X saying ‘This app can’t install’.

  5. Mark Berry   |  June 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Ben, thanks for posting and good luck with your “larger issue”!

  6. Matt   |  August 25, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Hi, we have the exact same problem. The link to the registry settings no longer works. Could you please upload or send me a copy via email? Matt

  7. Mark Berry   |  August 25, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Matt – I’ve tweeted the blog author, Brett Lemoine, asking where to find that blog. In the meantime, maybe this thread gives you enough info: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie11-windows_7/cannot-download-using-ie/bcb60ac3-b4a0-44e7-af51-9e6c386a1108.

  8. Bezef   |  November 25, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Hi,
    This Problem occures when the Intel Matrix Storage Driver is installed. Reverse it to Native Windows 7 ATA Drivers has solve it for Me. (Asus P5E3 Deluxe Motherboard, Intel Chipset X38 (ICH9). Good Luck

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