index.dat file....removal

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by Sm|th 6th, May 7, 2002.

  1. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest

    The article below outlines how to see what is in that index.dat file..but it doesn't say how to delete it... let me know if there is way.

    Microsoft's Hidden Files in Windows XP
    Posted by waddy on Tuesday, May 07 @ 17:41:05 BST

    Thanks to Brian for this Article : MSIE (e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer) is known to store your entire history inside a HIDDEN file somewhere in your comp for unknown reasons (or should I say, Unproven reasons). OK, then we just click on "clear history" and "delete files" no? NO! it might seem like it erased the history, but it didnt.

    It is stored inside a file called "Index.DAT", which is Hidden. But not hidden in the regular way, even if you enalbe the "view hidden files" option, you will still not be able to see it or even search for it.

    Here is how to get that file:

    Guide & Information : WinXP Pro-E-man.txt
  2. dejav00

    dejav00 Guest


    Ctrl+A...Delete key...Ctrl+S.

    Meaning, Select All, Delete, Save.

    Then, put it back into the first directory, this is what all those "Internet Eraser" tools do.
  3. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest


    If it were that simple I wouldn't post here ;) . I obviously tried that. When you open the index.dat in wordpad you delete everything save etc. But when you try to replace the original it says access denied.

    Any other suggestions
  4. TheBlueRaja

    TheBlueRaja BR to Some

  5. djmorgan

    djmorgan OSNN Addict

    What I do if your not keen on keep anything from a session.

    I have a ram disk that the temp folder resides in makes the Internet connection faster as it's not writing to HD and of course when you reboot the ram disk is cleared erasing the index.dat file - flushed no trace gone forever :D

    You can get the ram disk free from this site
  6. TuMbRaS

    TuMbRaS Guest

    im still thinking though... i agree that a virtual RAM drive can benefit in the speed department, however, it still resides on your hard drive. Secondly, I'm curious??>>but, logic tells me that you would have a pagefile on your harddrive or partition(s) which you can do if you choose - spread it out across multidrives/partitions - having said that.. unless you have a utility or through gpedit, instruct the pagefile to be cleaned upon shutdown... your information will still be there..

    also, have you actually looked at your local settings folder under documents and settings??? if you move that folder out of that choosing "send to" when you right click it.. YOU WILL SEE THE INDEX.DAT FILE IS THERE. and it will always be there.. regardless if you "delete" it... every time you invoke IE, it will always be recreated..with the starting size i think of about 60 or 80 kb.. i forget which..

    anyway,im guessing that perhaps you are deleting an index.dat file..its just a copy of the original..which will be replaced when IE is started up again.. check it out for yourself.. you will see what i am talking about...

    oh, and if i didnt mention it... there is more than one..."index.dat" file in cookies, internet history and temporary internet history folders....

    the best that you can either delete...EACH AND EVERYTIME you boot up or shutdown, your index.dat files through DOS or find a GUI based prog that will do it for you... but you will still always have them... you will only be able to reset them...

    check this site out for more details:



    you will be educated more clearly as to what you can do..and what you cant...

    good luck all!!!

  7. djmorgan

    djmorgan OSNN Addict

    :p a RAM drive resides in RAM not on your HD, I made NO mention of a virtual Ram drive.

    The index.dat file in local settings is only a refrence file, the actual working index.dat file if left alone grows to enormous size - somebody reported 7 meg, I don't know when windows flushes it if ever.

    The working index.dat file resides in the folder that you tell IE to use as your temp store.

    The pagesysfile is totally different and IS you Virtual store if needed.
  8. TuMbRaS

    TuMbRaS Guest


    Im very curious then.... please let us all know where you obtained the information that says you can successfully delete this one "working" index.dat file?? I am requesting a link or a reference to an article please???

    second, define for us, what you mean by "reference" index.dat fiel and "working" index.dat file..again, please refer me to an article or something like that >??

    third, please point me to this one particular index.dat file that you mention as being "the" one. even though we all already know that there is more than one index.dat file..all of which contain various forms of data.

    fourth... i think im still confused then.. please show me or refer me to an article that states how you can move all of these index.dat files to a temp folder, not a cookies folder, not a temporary internet files folder, and put them all in one temp folder.. im dying to know how to do that!!!!

    fifth, at one point during an IE setup does it allow you to choose where you wish to store your index.dat file?? and what about machines that already come configured with IE on it... so in that case, the consumer doesnt get the opportunity to make this magical adjustment..and we now would have to manually reinstall IE and find this option available..???

    sixth, common sense tells me... if this could be done as you say..and if we are to believe that there is this one "master working" index.dat file, don't you think that this would have been discussed, documented and posted all over the place..?? wouldnt everybody be doing it?? funny, i've never in my life heard of this, as you describe it... i've never heard of this technique mentioned anywhere ever... s

    so please, DO backup your opionated suggestions with facts.... show all of us where you obtained this documentation..and offer all of us please links or reference to any literature that would support your claim...even if its some sort of owners manual...

    one thing though.. you are absolutely right about the ram drive.. i DID MISUNDERSTAND I WAS WRONG in my reply..and i apologize for that...

    dying to learn how you do it..

  9. l0g0ut

    l0g0ut OSNN Addict

    tumbras.... for your fifth question.... i believe the index.dat file is stored in the temporary internet folder for every user.... which can be specified if you go to Internet Options in the General tab... you can see the Setting button which will open a new window... there you'll see the button Move Folder... which is the option to change the temporary internet files folder.... the suggestion is to change this folder to a RAMDisk which will be wiped out after each boot.

    now to my question... what if i don't reboot often and i don't want to reboot often? then i can't get rid of the file..... hmm.... i'm tempted to deny write access to my Temp. Internet Folder..... what do you think?
  10. djmorgan

    djmorgan OSNN Addict

    Sheesh pal chill out, I'm not trying to sell you something here I was answering a question not asked by you, as to doing your research for you well I charge $AUD150.00 per hour minimum 4 hours, so if you want to contract with me fine.

    For free:

    There is ONLY 1 index.dat file in use at a time, this is the hidden file located in the TIF folder (Temporary Internet Files) and this folder is located where you see IE6 shows it to be, it can be moved anywhere on your system. If you don't know how to do that then I suggest you learn as it's fundemantal and has been a part of IE since about version 4.0

    This Index.dat file is the file refered to as being the secret file - I don't believe that, but it is a file that grows in size and cannot be deleted except from DOS. Or other special programs such as spider etc.

    There are a number of other index.dat files some reside in the cookies folders some in the spare temp folders that XP seems to create for other users even if there are no other users. On my system at last count I had about 8 index.dat files only 3 of which have had recent activity, TIF, Cookies & History.

    These, Index.dat files do not grow and are normally 32 or 64kb in size.

    The index.dat file in TIF can be very large if the TIF folder is not kept to a sensibly size, once again if you don't know how to do that then learn.

    Now if the above appears in your mind to be 'opinionated' then I'm sorry but it is simply fact not opinion - suggest you visit MSKB and type in "index.dat" for a good read.

    So, back to the answer, if you therefore have a RAM drive and make your TIF into the RAM drive then when the RAM is flushed ie system re start the TIF is errased and the index.dat along with it.

  11. TuMbRaS

    TuMbRaS Guest

  12. l0g0ut

    l0g0ut OSNN Addict

    Better solution..

    Ok guys.... let's think of a solution.... i tried setting the attribute to the index.dat file to read-only just after reboot... 12 hrs has passed and the file size has not increase.... should be good now....
  13. djmorgan

    djmorgan OSNN Addict

    Your now splitting hairs and have gone totally off the subject.

    The 'Index.dat' file is PERMANENTLY erased if in a RAM Disk (or deleted by other means) when the computer reboots a NEW Index.dat is writen by the system as the system needs to have it present to operate IE.

    NOBODY stated that the index.dat could be permanently done without, that it will never be unless somehow you do not load IE.

    Now surely you have something more productive to do.

  14. TuMbRaS

    TuMbRaS Guest


    you are right..far more important issues to be productive about than to be pointing out erroneous information to you....

    hmmm..had i taken the option of paying $150.00 AUD i think i would have sorely been dissapointed..if not for your behavior alone..... but because your information was not factual... and if you couldn't provide valid information on something as silly as this....i wonder what what kind of trouble could you get someone's pc in for $150.00.....

    your words speak volumes about you...

    im finished... not worth the time at this if you want to continue with you are right.. we are wasting valuable forum space....

  15. Terrahertz

    Terrahertz Extinction Agenda Political User Folding Team

    New York
    Wow and to think it all started with the "index.dat". This is great reading material..printing it now. djmorgan and TuMbRaS from the look of your post your both very knowledgeble individuals who are also human beings. Cant help it just our curse:) . It a shame though you two would have a falling out over this.
    I'm using a ramdrive and my index.dat is flushed every shutdown and restart. Thats really what we wanted right, to clear it? So cheer up guys its not that big a deal.
  16. TuMbRaS

    TuMbRaS Guest

    bravo terra..... i could have not said it better myself...

    no hard feelings dj.... what's said is said and done.... good luck...

    and yes..the ramdrive is very interesting to play with...

    have a great day guys! :)

  17. Think

    Think Guest

    Nice read, but how do you create a RAM drive in Windows XP?
  18. djmorgan

    djmorgan OSNN Addict

    Go to the download section of this site and search and download a ram drive utility, recommended you have 256+ mem.

    There was an article done on ram drives in the news section about 8 weeks ago I think.

    You'll also see that MS have a ramdrive for free but it is limited in features.

    Good hunting.
  19. TuMbRaS

    TuMbRaS Guest

    the article dj was referring to i think had two utilities was freeware i think it was called XP Ramdrive..the other one... not freeware was called RamDrive XP. it comes in two flavors..home and pro versions....

    their homepage is:

    good luck!!!

  20. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest


    Well to think this tread started with my simple post :p anyway thx guys I appreciate the help. I tried the spider program it works.. I am also going to go get the ram drive program to play with that.

    Just a quick question: basically what is a ram drive?? I am thinking it uses your ram to make a that right