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My "View Source" isn't working in IE

 12:22 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lately, when I try to view the source of a web page in IE6 on XP Pro, nothing happens. I'm able to do it with Mozilla, but in IE, absolutely nothing happens.

What gives? And how can I fix it?





 12:24 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've had the same problem (with both Win2k and XP pro) as has a co-worker. It came back after a few restarts. I'm sorry I can't be any more helpful but I was also stumped.


 12:27 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Empty your cache. This is a documented issue. Emptying your cache will fix it.



[edited by: BlobFisk at 12:30 pm (utc) on May 24, 2004]


 12:28 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

This happened to me once. I believe the solution is to clear your temp. files/cache. When some maximum threshold is passed, I think the process to view source is affected.


 12:31 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)


To resolve this issue, delete all of the files in the Temporary Internet Files folder.

To do this, follow these steps:
1. Start Internet Explorer.
2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
3. Under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files.
4. When the confirmation message appears, click OK two times.




 1:25 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just came across this thread ..if you didn't know to do this you might also take time out to defrag your drive(s) ..chances are you don't do it often enough ...it won't make this problem happen ..the reason is that gioven above ..But most times I find this problem I also find undefragged machines ...

You can also disable the "autofill" "facility" for typed urls in IE ..which will give you more space in the temp files and in index.dat ...

If you want to kill ( empty) index.dat ..as its a "protected" "in use" file ..you need to either go into the register yourself ..or the hive ..and do it ...
Or get yourself a piece of software that will ..
BTW "evidence eliminator" which claims to do this ..actually doesn't ..so don't waste your money ..there are plenty of freewares that do it properly and one or two that let you ( or me ) read the contents in the clusters before you do erase them ..
And one or two others that will let you ( or me ) read all the "hex" you think you deleted safely ..along with where you went ..what you saw ...what you saved etc ...and they can be put on a floppy and don't need to be installed to be executed ...

This is not to suggest that you personally have anything to hide ...and I am slightly off topic here ..but you'd be amazed at what your machine ( or anyone elses ) can tell me ( or anyone else who knows where and how to look ) what you do or did ..on or off the net ....

peter andreas

 2:29 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I get this too. Also when I delete all the temporary internet files(do you mean this as the cache?) using Tools-Internet Options Delete Files it always hangs and I have to shut down the browser. It has always done this on every PC and OS Iv'e had excet maybe windowns 95..

Alternative Future

 2:32 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>Delete Files it always hangs and I have to shut down the browser

I have also seen this happen in IE, the way I have found to progress beyond that is to open Windows Explorer and locate your Temporary Internet Files dir and select all and delete. This does the same as above!



 2:38 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is a total pain and I have given up using ie to view source as I fill up my cache really fast. I now just use Mozilla or Netscape to view source.


 2:46 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tools > Internet Options > General

In the "Temporary Internet Files" area click on the settings button. You can use the "Amount of Disk Space to Use" slider to increase the size of your cache.

I've never seem IE crash when deleting temporary internet files but I've seen it take a long long time...


 2:46 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

If none of the above solves it....

It can also happen when your available free memory drops.

Not all programs release unused memory pages when they should. Over a few hours of use your free memory resources could drop to under 30% free.

Solution: Re-boot


 3:44 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Man, IE is just GARBAGE.

I always empty my cache, but did it again for the fun of it and also increased the size of it. No luck.

Tried several of the other things mentioned in the other articles. No luck.

Did get it to work, temporarily, by changing my HTML editor from "Notepad" to "excel" and then changing it back to "Notepad" again. But, it stops working again almost immediately. And it won't work at all if you open up a new browser window.

It is almost like IE can't find the path for Notepad - or at least remember it. Any ideas on how I can let IE know where Notepad is for XP Pro? One of the other articles about this on WebmasterWorld had a link to the WIN NT fix for this - but I couldn't find anything about how to do it for XP Pro.

Oh, I have about 300MB free of memory on my machine (out of 512MB), so that isn't an issue.

Thanks for all the help.



 3:54 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is an application called Power Toys for Windows XP that allows you to tweak a lot of XP settings. One of the more handy one is to change the View Source editor on IE.

I've mine set to Scite now, just like Opera (except Opera lets you do it as one of the preferences...). This may be what you need here...


 3:57 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had this problem for months and months last year until some one posted that if you make a short cut to notepad on your desktop it will stop you from viewing the source code with XP, remove the desktop shortcut and it will work again.



 4:05 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

if you make a short cut to notepad on your desktop it will stop you from viewing the source code with XP

How very helpful of M$ ;)

Does it happen if you have a shortcut to notepad in a toolbar too?


 4:16 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't know about that one HelenDev,

I just had a shortcut on my desktop and had tried the empty my cache, remove temporary files etc, time after time but to no avail, sat scratching my head on what had changed, thought it was a virus or MS had changed something, until I removed the shortcut and everything worked again.


 4:16 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> remove the desktop shortcut and it will work again.

Oh my god, that worked. Talk about goofy.

Whoever invented Windows should be, well, I'll leave it at that.

Thanks for the tip.


 4:26 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't know about that one HelenDev

just tried it - doesn't work. But then this PC is not running XP, I think it's windoze 2000.

It may solve my probs on my XP machine at home tho :)



 4:30 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)


Do you have the "Delete All Offline Content" checkbox checked on the delete files option?


 7:43 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

For those of you who get windows crashing when you try emptying temp internet files: Go into your temp internet files directory (in win2k and XP I believe its in documents and settings for current user) and select about one or two thousand files at a time and delete them manually. Delete your temp internet files everytime you close IE if you have a broadband connection. This can be done automatically with Tweak UI (a microsoft tool found by searching for it on google) and I think Power Toy can do it too.

peter andreas

 10:39 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's amazing how you just live with things for so long..

peter andreas

 12:54 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know this is compleatly un related (apart from the software company) but has anyone else had MS word just shut down the computer compleatly (just turns off-dead)IF you don't save the work. It happens with us all the time on our PC (not on the Mac), so we just make sure its saved. We have firewalls, done virus scans updated definitions etc, but can't find anything. Sorry I know its unreated to the internet but while we were on the subject of software doing strange things.....


 1:02 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Now that I remember, this once happened to me too...long time ago.

I don't remember more details, but I think I fixed it by re-installing IE.

I also see there are a few threads on it too, have a look at those:



 2:54 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

What I do periodically (every few weeks) to keep the "View/Source" working in IE is to go to Tools/Options, in the "Temporary Internet files" section, click on "Settings..."

Then click on "View Files...". A window will open (after a slight delay) with a list of temporary files. I don't want to delete cookies because I would have to reenter information (like log on name, etc.) in many web sites. I click on the header for size
twice so that the largest files (often over 1 meg) are at the top, and then delete these files.

Then I can use the "View/Source" option again.

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