How to Erase Index.dat Files…

Don't Pay For Any Program That Claims To Erase Your History Until You See This

April 15, 2009 by admin 

The Internet Explorer uses three index.dat files that are basically system files and can under no circumstance be manually erased from the hard drive. The reason behind this is that these index.dat files are constantly used by the Windows and they will carry on accumulating data regarding the websites surfed by the user, pictures and videos downloaded or the cookies that have been saved irrespective of obliterating the browser history, temporary Internet files or browser cache and cookies from the computer. The content of the index.dat files can only be erased using any history eraser software.

The index.dat files have the potential to pile up information up to 100 megabytes and they need constant access to the CPU and bandwidth. Although Microsoft asserts that the index.dat files were initially intended to augment the Internet speed by taking off a server, they actually do the reverse as these large files are a continuous documentation of the user’s Internet browsing history.

Different Index.dat files

The three index.dat files used by the Internet Explorer include history index.dat file, cookies index.dat file, cache index.dat file. This means that each of Internet Explorer’s primary folders or directories – cache, cookies and history – uses an indexing technique to preserve data. In essence, a copy of the contents of the folders remains in that folder.
These files are useful as they speed up the hard drive while re-accessing websites that have been visited earlier. Nevertheless, the index.dat files invade the privacy of the Internet user as any person acquainted with these files and is able to access your computer is able to track your Web surfing history.

For cookies and for cache, the index.dat files are fundamentally URL entries and pointers to the related real files. For history, no files are referenced as this is the collection of URL records applied for AutoComplete and for regulating the prominence of hidden links on the Web pages. All the three forms of index.dat files include the actual URL and also the date/ time stamps and reference counts.

Where to locate Index.dat files

Although it is impossible to manually erase the index.dat files, if you want to locate them you will find them on the places. If you are using a Windows 9x computer the index.dat files are located in the following locations:
WINDOWSTemporary Internet Filesindex.dat
WINDOWSTemporary Internet Filesindex.dat.

On the other hand, if you are using a Windows 2000 and Windows XP you may find numerous index.dat files at the following places:
Documents and Settings<Username>Cookiesindex.dat
Documents and Settings<Username>Local SettingsHistoryHistory.IE5index.dat
Documents and Settings<Username>Local
Documents and Settings<Username>Local
Internet FilesContent.IE5index.dat

Viewing Index.dat files

In fact, the index.dat files are concealed by default and they may be seen by enabling the Internet Explorer to view the hidden. The rationale behind that these files not being visible are that they are not simply hidden, but also have been selected as “system” files. System files and folders are dealt with in a different way in DOS and Windows and are efficiently shrouded from offhand searches. In order to make the index.dat files visible, you need to follow this simple manual procedure.

  • Click on the ‘Start’ tab at the left-hand corner of Windows.
  • Open the ‘Settings’ box and click on the ‘Control Panel’ tab.
  • Here you will find the ‘Folder Options’ window. Click on the ‘View’ folder in this window.
  • Next, click on the ‘Files and Folders’ in the ‘Advanced Settings’ area.
  • Now, select the ‘Display the Content of System Folders’ to open the ‘Hidden Files and Folders’.
  • To end the process, click on the ‘OK’ button.

Wrapping Up

It may be mentioned here that barring index.dat cookies and history, all records of the user’s Internet surfing history are present as temporary Internet files like caches, recent documents list, AutoComplete, dropdown URL list from the Internet Explorer and the like. However there is one way to delete the index.dat file and all it data. For this you are going to need special software.  For recommendation of this type of software read our Privacy Software Reviews here.

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