The best setting for Explorer

The best setting for Explorer

Recently I wrote about problems with Microsoft Internet Explorer's cache for viewed Web pages. As the cache fills up, pages in the cache are deleted somewhat randomly rather than the oldest pages being deleted first.

This can interfere with your ability to read Web pages offline -- a problem that is addressed by CacheSentry, a free program you can download at that isn't a complete answer to the problems readers have been reporting to me.

One performance-related problem is that users observe Explorer using their modems to read content from the Web even when the users have merely clicked Explorer's Back button to see a page they just viewed. No modem activity should occur at all, because the page should be in the local cache.

A more serious problem has been reported with the subscription feature of Explorer 4.0. Some readers report difficulty viewing Web pages that are downloaded after they have marked them as Favourites and "subscribed" to them.

Getting reliable information on these problems from Microsoft has been frustrating. After several enquiries, all Microsoft representative Bill Zolna could suggest was that users can fix the Back button by pulling down Explorer's File menu and turning on the Work Offline option. This didn't seem to me to have an effect on Explorer's Back button. I expect to have more details from Microsoft next week. In the meantime, I'll tell you some solutions suggested by readers.

Several users have pointed to a Windows 95 Registry setting as a possible fix for Explorer 4.0. To access this setting, run RegEdit.exe to open the Registry. Navigate down the left pane of the Registry Editor until you reach the following key: key_Local_Machine/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main. Select the Main folder in the left pane of the Registry Editor. In the right pane, you should see a key called Auto RefreshLocalPages with a value of "yes".

The solution suggested by readers is to double-click the name of the key and change the value to "no". This is said to stop Explorer from rereading pages when you click the Back button.

But reader David Pochron of Enigmatic Software, the author of CacheSentry, says the "no" setting can keep Explorer 4.0 from rereading any Web pages you revisit until you click the Refresh button. He says CacheSentry is a better way to solve reliability problems with Explorer's subscriptions.

Other readers have reported problems with Explorer's manual refresh settings. You can choose to reread Web pages "Every time you visit the page", "Every time you start Internet Explorer", or "Never". Your choice is stored in the Win95 Registry under Hkey_Current_User/ Software/Microsoft/InternetExplorer/Main/Cache_Update_Frequency. But nothing changes in the Registry when you select a different setting.

I'll report next week on Microsoft's response and readers' findings with these options.

Brian Livingston is the co-author of several best selling Windows books, including the most recent Windows 95 Secrets (IDG Books). Send tips to He regrets that he cannot answer individual questions.


as reported to BugNet

Lotus Domino 4.6.1

if you are using it on the Windows NT/Alpha platform, you may not want to use server-wide custom response pages. Lotus says they might cause "server reliability problems". Note that the DOMCFG.NSF database uses such pages.

Netscape Collabra 3.5

users with Cancel permission can cancel someone else's article in a discussion group by going to Mail/News Preferences and changing their e-mail identity to match the user ID of the message they want to kill. Netscape says the server is designed to check user IDs, but they're not authenticated.


Microsoft has temporarily removed the LM-FIX hotfix at bussys/winnt/winnt-public/fixes/usa/nt40/hotfixes-postSP3/lm-fix/. Its testing found a very limited situation where certain Distributed COM (DCOM) features would have problems with the fix. If you already have installed it, they say you shouldn't worry unless you see DCOM errors.

Found a bug? Tell the InfoWorld Electric forum at e-mail to

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