Any way to revise the IE cache file name?

Posted on 2011-05-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-08
When I opened an excel file from IE, I will be asked: 1. open with excel 2. save.

When I choose "open", IE will open it from user's desktop cache (the temp file could be docu~ment[1].xls, for example).

Is there any programming or non-programming way to revise a little bit on the name IE stored in the temp folder (cache)? All I need is to remove the [ ] sign in the above doucment name uses since this causes trouble in my program.

Question by:heyday2004
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 400 total points
ID: 35501606
I think that is built in to Windows as a way to distinguish multiple copies of a file.  You'll see a lot of that in places like your cookie directory.  And that is why using '[]' didn't work in your other question.  Your program probably needs to be able to deal with that since it has been a feature of Windows for a long time.
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Accepted Solution

BillDL earned 1600 total points
ID: 35687722
Hi heyday2004

Dave Baldwin has answered your question by saying No.  The following is just for your additional information, because I sense that you may not be fully acquainted with how a web browser caches files.

You said "IE will open it from user's desktop cache ...".

No such thing as a "Desktop Cache", or at least not in this context.

When a web page openes and fetches all the contents such as images to display in the web page, those files are downloaded to the logged on user's "Temporary Internet Files" folder, which for Internet Explorer is usually:
"C:\Documents and Settings\TheUserName\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\XXXXXXXX"

The folder "XXXXXXXX" will be 8 characters long and comprise letters and numbers.  It will not be the only sub-folder under the "Content.IE5" folder.  There could be a handful or quite a lot, depending on when the "browser cache" was last cleared and how deeply.

Thye Temporary Internet Files folder is a hidden one, and so are all the folders below it.  In fact, in Windows XP and probably also more recent versions, you can't normally just use Windows Explorer and browse past that to see the sub-folders of your own "browser cache".  The files that you see directly in the "Temporary Internet Files" folder are really just shortcuts to the real files in the sub-folders with the 8 character names.

When you load a web page in the browser, not only does it cache a copy of the web page itself, but also all the images and most of the other content that displays in the page.  They will remain in the cache until you empty it.  Given that millions or even billions of websites' home pages are named "index.htm", there has to be some way of giving them unique names in the cache as you browse around looking at web sites.  They are given names "ndex[1].htm", "index[2].htm", etc.  The same is true of images and other cached files.

A file, such as an Excel document, opened from a link to another computer over the Internet first has to to be downloaded to the user's "Temporary Internet Files" folder, and it is then opened FROM THERE in the default application.

Even if you opted to SAVE the document when prompted, it would STILL cache itself first and then be copied from the browser cache to your folder of choice.  That is why, when downloading a large file from the Internet on a slightly slower computer, you will see a standard File Copy dialog and progress bar as the Internet Explorer download progress indicator gets to 99%.  It has downloaded it to the cache and then needs to copy it from there to where you selected as your download folder.

Have you ever read of users who open an Excel spreadsheet from the attachment in their email client, make changes, and click Save, then expect to see the attachment updated the next time they open the email message?  It works like a web page.  The attachment is extracted to a Temporary location and Excel loads it from there.  Being only a temporary location, it only lasts for as long as the attachment is opened from the email and no changes are saved into it because it is still really part of the email message.  Of course, save As works, and often the default directory that comes up in the "Save As" dialog is the temporary one where the attachment has been extracted to.

With Microsoft Office documents you may also then have the issue that the application often creates another temporary document, a copy of itself while it is being worked on.  You will have seen this temporary file if you opened a Word document from the Desktop and then Minimized Word or Excel to see the desktop.

Unfortunately maintaining unique file names is a necessary feature, and Microsoft chose to use [1], [2], etc, for the names of the files in the Internet Explorer browser cache.

To avoid this, don't open Excel files from their Internet source.  Save them and then open them.

You say:
"... since this causes trouble in my program."

What program., and how does your program work?

Author Comment

ID: 35747790
Thanks a lot for the detailed replies. I will open another question if I still find issues. Thanks.
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 35752425
Thank you heyday2004.

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