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Program to delete index.dat files?

By dustylyric
Oct 22, 2006
  1. I've noticed there are several programs out on the web that say they shred the contents of index.dat files to protect your privacy. Are any of these legit? Is there any harm to deleting them?
     
  2. oct17

    oct17 TS Rookie

    Programs to delete index.dat files

    I use iecach2. It removes all iecach files with no problems. I use it with windows98se. It is a java script program.Hope this helps some.
     
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    When the index.dat files with all their contents get deleted, Windows reinstalls fresh "empty" index.dat files as soon as you restart Windows. No harm is done. I use the free CCleaner. See here for more information. That's not to say that all such cleaners are perfectly safe. Some may not be.
     
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Am I missing something here? Why can't you just do a Windows Search for "index.dat" and then Shift-Delete everything that comes up?
     
  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Windows won't let you. Try it and you'll get an error message.

    BTW, it can be deleted through DOS too, though.
     
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    I just did. I had no problems shift deleting them.
     
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Hmmm. I was able to delete some but not all. How about the index.dat files under Documents and Settings particularly under your user name?
     
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    can't delete that one.
     
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    When you posted about Shift-Delete, I only tried it on that one and when it didn't work, I didn't try it on the others. After your next post I did try some of the others and found that it did work on them but still not the first one. I haven't tried every single one yet.
     
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    I imagine the only ones you'll have problems with are the user ones in Documents and Settings. You won't be able to delete your own because its still in use, and you won't be able to delete other user's files unless you have privileges to do so. I just posted Shift-Delete because that makes them really gone rather than just moving to recycle bin.

    I didn't try it for everything I found either, mainly because I don't have any reason to go deleting my index.dat files.
     
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    That brings us back full circle. For the paranoid or perhaps terminally tidy among us, :) we want to periodically delete our own index.dat files for a couple of reasons. As they continue to grow and accumulate records of the internet sites we've visited, eventually they can take up a lot of space. Also, if you prefer not to have a record of your browsing history kept on the PC, you'll want to get rid of it for that reason.

    I noticed that in Windows 98SE you can't get rid of any index.dat files as you can some in XP. So you would have to go to DOS or use a third party program such as Ccleaner.

    That said, I realize not everyone is concerned about it. Besides, the easiest way around it is use Firefox or similar browser. It doesn't bother with index.dat type files.
     
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Does going to Internet Options in IE and deleting Cookies, Files, and clearing History not take care of that?
     
  13. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    I don't believe so. Not through Internet Options because as long as you are logged on, the index.dat files (for your account) are locked. They can be manually deleted but you would have to logon as admin, locate them and delete them one at a time. If you are the admin account, you have to use or create another admin account to delete them. At least this is my understanding of how this works.

    The appeal of using a third party cleaner it that it finds them all at once and you're done. Technically, I think you're done upon restarting but it's still simpler.
     
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