I have noticed that when I do a search on Google multiple files are created in the Temporary Internet files folder (Microsoft Internet Explorer) relating to that one search, maybe up to 12 files for one search.

Does any one know why this is. The files all begin search? and then there is a long string containing numbers and words from the search I am doing. For example I did a search for abilify and the first file has q=a in the long string. The second file has q=ab in it. The third one has q=abi and so on up to the seventh file which has q=abilify in it.

Can anyone explain this please?



migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 9 '10 at 13:40

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • Those are probably cookie files. How are they named? – Pekka 웃 Sep 9 '10 at 13:18
  • @Pekka: he said that they were named search?q=a, search?q=ab, search?q=abi etc. up to search?q=abilify – Frxstrem Sep 9 '10 at 13:37

Google is making multiple requests for 'pages' (which are not shown to you as pages) as you type, to offer you the drop down suggestion list.

IE is caching the result of these, not sure why.

Try Fiddler http://www.fiddler2.com/fiddler2/ if you want to see more of what's going on between a browser and a web-server.


Sounds like their new instant search results feature is loading clients up with cookies. They traditionally track users' searches this way, and this new feature technically means that you searched for "a" and "ab" and "abi"...


sure, your internet explorer is caching the responses (this won't happen if you disable the cache). Google has an auto-suggest feature, this means it generates suggestion while you're typing. This is why you have these fragments a, ab, abi, abilify thing in your files.


There are two possible reasons why these files are stored, that I can come up with:

  • Google's auto-suggest feature would send a request to the Google server each time you would type a letter Internet Explorer might cache this result.

  • A feature Google released yesterday (September 8), called Google Instant, sends a full search query to the Google server when a letter is typed, and updates the result instantly. If you're using Google in US, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia or some other country where Google Instant has been rolled out, this is more likely what those files are (especially since they begin with search?q=).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy