Tuesday 3 July 2007

How to Delete Outlook Temporary Files 2

In an earlier post, I gave instructions for clearing Outlook temporary files. Of course I forgot that the location of Temporary Internet Files in Windows Vista is different to XP/2000/NT, so different instructions are required. (Thanks to Oriolus for reminding me.) I also found that this is a lot less of a pain in Outlook 2007 than before.

(This procedure involves deleting files. The ones in the folder we're looking at are temporary files whose 'master' copy is held in the mailbox, so it doesn't result in loss of data. However, just in case someone should manage to mistype one of the commands and end up in the wrong folder, the usual disclaimer applies.)

For Outlook 2003 or earlier in Windows Vista:

  1. Start > Run > Type "cmd" (without the quotes) > Click OK
  2. In the command line, type the commands in bold (excluding my numbering and hitting return after each line)

  3. cd "%localappdata%\microsoft\windows\temporary internet files"

  4. dir /ad
  5. You should now see a list of folder names - one or more will begin with OLK.

  6. cd olk*
  7. This should make the first OLK folder the current directory - type the full folder name instead of OLK* to select a different one)

  8. explorer .

Note the space before the "."

This will bring up a Windows Explorer window showing the contents of the folder which you can then delete, but only after you've checked the address bar to make sure you're in the right folder!

If there was more than one OLK folder you can get to it by typing "cd.." at the command prompt then repeating steps 3 and 4 to select the OLK folder with the next folder name.

Type exit in your command window to close it, or just click on the x when you're done.

Maybe someone in the Outlook product group felt our pain, because in Outlook 2007 this has suddenly got a lot easier!

For Outlook 2007 in Windows XP:

  1. Click Start > Run > Type "%userprofile%\local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\content.outlook" and click OK
  2. In the Explorer window that appears, double-check you have the correct folder selected and delete its contents.
For Outlook 2007 in Windows Vista:
  1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Run* > Type "%localappdata%\microsoft\windows\Temporary Internet Files\content.outlook" and click OK *unless, like me, you've already added the Run command to your Start menu.
  2. In the Explorer window that appears, double-check you have the correct folder selected and delete its contents.


  1. Thank you! Worked perfectly.

  2. I have tried following these instructions however it won't work. Windows explorer wont load the folders and I cant do it manually either?

  3. u might have copied the "" also.


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