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Index.dat File

  Index.dat file--What is Index.dat file ?

Index.dat are files hidden on your computer that contain all of the Web sites that you have ever visited. Every URL, and every Web page is listed there. Not only that but all of the email that has been sent or received through Outlook or Outlook Express is also being logged. The file names and locations depend on what version of Internet Explorer you have. If you are running IE version 4.0 or above, the file name is "index.dat". Microsoft has not supplied an adequate explanation as to what these files are for or why they have been hidden so well.

According to Microsoft, these files are used to cache visited Web sites to help speed up the loading of Web pages in Internet Explorer. Obviously this cannot be the case because when you clear the Temporary Internet Files the "index.dat" files remain behind and continue to grow. If you delete or clear the Temporary Internet Files, there is absolutely no need to index the URL cache because those files no longer exist.

On Windows Vista and Windows 7 Computer, index.dat files are located :

\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\index.dat
\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\low\index.dat
\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat
C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\Content.IE5\index.dat

On Windows 2000 and Windows XP there are several "index.dat" files in these locations:


\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Cookies\index.dat

\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\index.dat

\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\MSHist012001123120020101\index.dat
\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local
Settings\History\History.IE5\MSHist012002010720020114\index.dat

\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local
Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat

On a Windows 9x computer these files are located in the following locations:

\WINDOWS\Cookies\index.dat
\WINDOWS\History\index.dat
\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files\index.dat
\WINDOWS\Cookies\index.dat
\WINDOWS\History\index.dat
\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files\index.dat


Index.dat files can be very hard to find. If you are in Windows, even with "Show hidden files and folders" enabled, index.dat files are not visible and cannot be found if you do a search for index.dat files. The reason that these files are so invisible is that they are not just hidden, they have been designated as "system" files. System files and folders are treated differently in DOS and Windows and are effectively cloaked from casual searches.

 

Index.dat files are always being used by windows system, you can not delete index.dag files manually, and even you clear Temporary Internet Files on Internet Option of Internet Explorer, it will not delete index.dat files.

Using Tracks Eraser to delete index.dat files is very easy, simply select the Index.dat on the IE Settings screen. 

Tracks Eraser Pro overwrites all the index.dat files with blank characters so that no one can see useful information from these index.dat files

Example of how Tracks Eraser deletes Index.dat file 

Example: index.dat file before deleting 
Example: index.dat file after deleting


Click Here to Download an Index.dat Viewer

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