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Maggie, I may have "misspoken." I used the work "history" in a generic sense. I don't know if it's the URL history or the file cache that does it; it's one or the other.
Paul B told you where to set the history parameter in IE5. To set the cache size it's Tools - Internet options - General and then in the middle where it mentions temporary internet files go to Settings and you can declare how much disk space you are willing to allocate. The more you allocate the faster your load time for previously-visited sites will be - up to a point, but then if you allocate a huge amount it gets slower since the system has to look through so much stuff. I don't know what's optimum.
Netscape users will find these things under Edit - Preferences - Advanced - Cache for the cache, and Edit - Preferences - Navigator for the history duration.