If you are an avid Internet user and use Internet Explorer as your browser, you have probably noticed that there are times when the View Source function in Internet Explorer occasionally stops working. For a Web developer or designer who likes to view the HTML code for a Web site, this can be frustrating. Fortunately, both the explanation to the problem and the solution are usually simple.
The root of the problem is that the browser cache has filled because of all the Web page code and images stored by the browser. The solution is to clear these temporary files and start out with a fresh cache. To do this,
- Select Tools on the top menu in Internet Explorer
- Select Internet Options…
- Click Delete Files in the Temporary Internet Files section
It may take several minutes to delete all the files in the cache, so don’t panic if it appears like your PC has locked up. As soon as the hour glass once again turns into a mouse pointer, you can shut down Internet Explorer and start it up again. The View Source feature should now work once again.
If this does not fix the problem, you may have a more serious issue, such as a corrupted or deleted Notepad.exe program file or problems related to the temporary files directory in Windows. Those problems are beyond the scope of this article. Other issues that have been reported that sometimes disable View Source include having a shortcut to Notepad on your desktop or having a shortcut named Notepad on your desktop. Renaming the shortcut should resolve those issues.
Most of the time, the problem tends to be related to the cache, so if you spend a lot of time on the Internet, it might be a good idea to clear the cache once a week.