This study was undertaken to determine variables that could predict, in the preoperative period, the likelihood for the need for intraoperative temporary arterial occlusion using clips (temporary clipping) when surgically repairing intracranial aneurysms. Data collected prospectively between October 1989 and March 2010 of 1129 unruptured intracranial aneurysms in 934 patients who were managed surgically was examined retrospectively. Temporary clipping was used in 400 patients (35.4%). Regression analysis of putative predictive variables revealed that aneurysms of a larger size, irregular fundus shape or midline location were more likely to be treated with temporary clipping. Basilar caput aneurysms larger than 10 mm were always managed with temporary clipping. There was no combination of factors studied that consistently predicted that temporary clipping would not be needed. Therefore, the potential need for temporary clipping must be considered for every patient with an aneurysm.