Feb 18, 2004
I was looking through my computer and found an index.dat file. Well, I couldn't look at it so I downloaded a viewer, then I found that it has all these websites that I have visited. I clear my interent history periodically so I was pissed. There are a lot of programs out there that say they will clear this file or delete it. My question is, if I can find the file can I just manually delete it or do I need one of those programs?


Dec 31, 2007
Yes, if you can get to it, you can delete it.

However, it's a super hidden file, and that makes the deletion a bit harder.

I normally boot up in Safe Mode (F8) as the Administrator to remove the main index.dat file, which is in Documents and Settings\"User Name"\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5. Note that you might have to give yourself the privileges to view or alter the contents of any folder that is part of a separate user account, even in Safe Mode. In WinXP Pro, you <i>might</i> have to disable simple file sharing under the Folder Options View menu for this to work. In Home edition, right-click, go to Properties\Security tab, and add the privileges to the Admin account you are using at the time. If necessary, of course.

Afterwards, I prefer to use a third-party file manager (one that has the ability to view super hidden files from within Windows normal mode) to remove any files that reside in the subfolders of the main Content.IE5 folder. There's no need to delete the subfolders themselves, because Windows will create new ones after a reboot, and that will include replacing any you've deleted. In other words, if you find four subfolders, and delete them, after a reboot, you'll find eight. And so on, and so forth.

Best to leave the folders alone, and just delete the contents.

You shouldn't have to delete the index.dat file that often, unless it becomes corrupted ... just kill the left-over files that aren't deleted from the Content.IE5 subfolders on a regular basis.

I prefer using <A HREF="http://www.ghisler.com/" target="_new">Total Commander 6.03a</A> as my third-party file manager. It also works extremely as an FTP client, and for synchronizing folders across a network, and so, owning the program has a few extra advantages.


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