What are Index.dat files?

Index.dat files contain information about websites you have visited, things you have done, cookies you have received, etc. The main purpose is that they speedup browsing by keeping this information nearby. The problem is, that they are not deleted when you clear your temporary internet files!

Index.dat files are hidden and located in the following locations:

Under Windows 9x:

  • Windows\Temporary Internet Files\index.dat
  • Windows\History\index.dat
  • Windows\Cookies\index.dat
Under Windows 2000, XP and 2003 Server:
  • Documents and Settings\<YourUserName>\Local Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat
  • Documents and Settings\<YourUserName>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\index.dat
  • Documents and Settings\<YourUserName>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\MSHist<number>\index.dat
  • Documents and Settings\<YourUserName>\Cookies\index.dat

Index.dat files can grow quite large and as they increase in size and thus slow down the computer. But the major problem is that snoops can view the index.dat files and find out the web sites you visited, even though you deleted all items from the History folder (History pane). You cannot delete the index.dat files manually because Windows locks them.

How do I wipe the Index.dat files then?

The only solution is to use third-party programs that wipe the index.dat files. We offer a free program called IE Privacy Keeper that can erase all index.dat files on your computer. IE Privacy Keeper features a unique technique for wiping index.dat files. A program can damage IE cache if it just fills an index.dat file with zeros (like most of the cleanup utilities do). IE Privacy Keeper wipes index.dat files in a special way that does not damage IE cache and does not require Windows restart.

IE Privacy Keeper is absolutely free! Click here to find out more about IE Privacy Keeper.

How do I perform a complete Internet cleanup?

IE Privacy Keeper can perform a complete Internet cleanup erasing all of your Internet tracks, including browsing history, cookies, typed URLs, autocomplete history and temporary internet files.

See also about Security and Privacy:

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