Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: IE10 uses WebcacheV01.dat vs index.dat files. How to clear/delete?

11 Nov 2013   #1
Lexus45

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
IE10 uses WebcacheV01.dat vs index.dat files. How to clear/delete?

Hope to open a discussion regarding privacy with Internet Explorer 10 and the way information is now cached.
There appears to be a lack of information on the internet regarding the handling of this cache.

Prior to IE10, much was written about how IE utilizes index.dat files (cookies/history/temporary internet files) to retain the users browsing history even after utilizing the built in IE deletion tools.
The only way to eleminate that collection of data was by deleting IE's index.dat files.
Many methods, programs, and procedures were developed and posted over the years to accomplish this deletion.

It is my understanding that beginning with IE10, IE no longer utilizes index.dat files.

Instead it stores all browsing information (cookies/history/visited URL's) in a central database located at C:\user\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache\WebcacheV01.dat

This file accumulates all activities the way the index.dat files did on earlier IE versions and presents the same privacy issues.

Since IE10 (and I suspect now IE11) retain this information in a different manner,

Are there any other places that browsing information is cached?
What effect does utilizing the IE Delete Browsing History tool have on this cache?
Has anyone successfully deleted/cleared this file?
Is so how?
Can it just be deleted like the old index.dat files?
Can the gurus here created a script to accomplish this?

Any discussion on this topic would be appreciated since there is little published on how to control the users information being captured in the newer IE's.

Thx


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
12 Nov 2013   #2
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I was wondering how long it would be until I saw a thread like this.

You are correct about the lack of info on this issue...
...well, the lack of correct info - that is.

Skim thru this PDF:
http://hj.diva-portal.org/smash/get/...242/FULLTEXT02
Edit: see the PDF attached to the post below.
I wish it had been around when I started researching this topic.
Be careful if you opt to kill taskhost.exe on a real computer.

I have my solution in place for clearing the data, but I would rather hear from others before I start rambling on the topic.

Before people start suggesting clearing/deleting history/cookies via Internet (Properties) Options, they might want to download/use BrowsingHistoryView.

As for this question:
Are there any other places that browsing information is cached?
There are lots of places that can leak such info.
Search the registry for DOMStorage.

I've been looking into various aspects of this for quite a while and there are several things that don't make sense to me yet. So let's see what others have to say on this topic. I would really like to see if others have reduced the cleanup to a script/batch file combo. I'm not sure that the one that I use is a good solution for the masses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2013   #3
Lexus45

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks for your response.
As critical as this is to a user's privacy, I am surprised how little has been published.
Here are some info sites that I have found:

Eric Lawrence

There is also a PDF that I have attached which was written by a computer forensic organization. They also are trying to figure out how to obtain your browsing information!
Note that toward the end of the PDF it talks about information being collected in Logs then transferred to the WebcacheV01.dat file after IE is closed. Also with a Private Session, information is not retained but can be recovered using specialized program(s).

Starting at the basics, I am using IE9 and have yet to update to IE10 pending some answers.
From the info above, it appears that IE going forward, including the new IE11, will be utilizing this new caching arrangement.

Questions for those who have IE10 installed:

1. Does utililizing the IE "Delete Browsing History" option with ALL items checked reduce the size of the WebcacheV01.dat file?
(ie: by chance does "Delete Browsing History" clear out the WebcacheV01.dat file information? Or similar to the old index.dat does WebcacheV01.dat continue to accumulate all your browsing history/cookies/URL sites?)

2. With IE10, has anyone moved the Temporary Internet Files folder to a alternate location or hard drive? If so does the WebcacheV01.dat file (or another copy of it) move to the new location? If so, can the file be cleared, or deleted from the alternate location?
(Note: with IE9, after I moved the TIF folder to my second hard drive I discovered that I could delete the TIF index.dat file whenever I wanted and IE would simply recreate an empty index.dat the next time I opened IE).

3. I think that CCleaner may be able to clean these files. Does anyone have CCleaner installed that can confirm this?

Hopefully through this forum we can get some working knowledge of this feature and how to manage our privacy going forward with IE.


Attached Files
File Type: pdf IE 10.pdf (1.63 MB, 154 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

12 Nov 2013   #4
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lexus45 View Post
~~~
Questions for those who have IE10 installed:

1. Does utililizing the IE "Delete Browsing History" option with ALL items checked reduce the size of the WebcacheV01.dat file?
(ie: by chance does "Delete Browsing History" clear out the WebcacheV01.dat file information? Or similar to the old index.dat does WebcacheV01.dat continue to accumulate all your browsing history/cookies/URL sites?)

2. With IE10, has anyone moved the Temporary Internet Files folder to a alternate location or hard drive? If so does the WebcacheV01.dat file (or another copy of it) move to the new location? If so, can the file be cleared, or deleted from the alternate location?
(Note: with IE9, after I moved the TIF folder to my second hard drive I discovered that I could delete the TIF index.dat file whenever I wanted and IE would simply recreate an empty index.dat the next time I opened IE).

3. I think that CCleaner may be able to clean these files. Does anyone have CCleaner installed that can confirm this?

Hopefully through this forum we can get some working knowledge of this feature and how to manage our privacy going forward with IE.
In my opinion, the webcache folder/files/database is more of an OS thing than an IE thing. As mentioned in Eric's blog (and elsewhere): you can remove IE from the OS and "surfing" data will still be tracked in the webcache database. I have found that opening certain help files (CHM files) will cause data to be added to this database. Most any app that makes a call to the INET API will cause data to be added to the webcache database. (I tested this using a CHM file and IE11 "removed" via "Turn Windows features on or off".)

The link that you posted to Eric's blog briefly mentions WinINET - but I'm willing to say the starting with IE10, MS just opted to change the way that the OS handles that API - thus the webcache database is an OS thing. I mention this because your questions mention IE10 and I'm testing with IE11. It should not matter which browser version we discuss; the webcache principles should be the same.

So:
> Does utilizing the IE "Delete Browsing History" option with ALL items checked reduce the size of the WebcacheV01.dat file?
You seem to be assuming that a reduction in the file size means that some or all surfing history has been removed. This is not always the case.

Deleting the webcache folder and its contents
then restarting the OS
should cause WebCacheV01.dat to be 32,832KB.

Running the "Delete Browsing History" option...*
(with all items checked and nothing preserved)
...does not change the size of the file.

*this is not the option to "Delete browsing history on exit".

Killing the taskhost.exe process** and then
running the "Delete Browsing History" option...
(with all items checked and nothing preserved)
...DOES reduce the size of the file.
In my test, WebCacheV01.dat shrunk to 20,544KB.

**the OS will eventually take control of the webcache folder (locking some of its files) using a dllhost.exe process. Once this happens, removing the webcache folder requires killing the correct dllhost.exe process.

Running the "Delete Browsing History" option does NOT remove the surfing history from the webcache database - even if taskhost/dllhost has been killed.



> With IE10, has anyone moved the Temporary Internet Files folder to a alternate location or hard drive?
I could not get that folder to move to another drive using the folder properties > location tab method. Perhaps the Virtual Machine setup does not perfectly mimic a real system.

IE10 uses WebcacheV01.dat vs index.dat files. How to clear/delete?-tif.png


> I think that CCleaner may be able to clean these files. Does anyone have CCleaner installed that can confirm this?
Not a chance. CCleaner (by its conservative nature) is not going to touch these files. Testing confirms that the surfing history remains after running CCleaner.


I'm still hoping that others will chime in. I can't be the only member that has spent time on this prior to your post. I'm more interested in scripting the removal of the surfing history.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2013   #5
Lexus45

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

UsernameIssues,

Did you have a chance to read the PDF file? The info regarding databases will probably make more sense to you than it did for me.

Yes, I was approaching this assuming that the changes were IE related not so much a change in the OS as you suspect.

I have also posted in the MS Community - Internet Explorer and have received very little response.

It is hard to believe that almost no one including PC Magazines and blogs seem interested or concerned with this major privacy issue as they once where with the index.dat files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2013   #6
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lexus45 View Post
UsernameIssues,

Did you have a chance to read the PDF file?.....
I skimmed thru it. I'm not too interested in how the database works or why MS had to change. I simply delete the entire webcache folder. The part of the PDF that I have yet to work thru in detail is the info in the screenshot at the top of page 22: the list of where other info is cached/recorded. I have yet to compare it to the list of folders that I attempt to clear.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lexus45 View Post
~~~
It is hard to believe that almost no one including PC Magazines and blogs seem interested or concerned with this major privacy issue as they once where with the index.dat files.
My guess is: they have concluded that privacy is an illusion.

My reason for clearing out all of the data is: Many moons ago, there were a few problematic websites inside the company that I work for. The help desk just told us to clear everything out of IE. Sadly, this did help, so I automated the process. As IE has changed, I've learned more than I really care to know about where all IE stashes stuff.

I doubt that the info in the webcache has any impact on return visits to a website (like a cookie does); but it does not matter to me since I automatically delete the entire folder each time IE closes.

I'm still interested in what (if anything) others do with these files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2013   #7
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

@Lexus45,
Just think how unique* we are. It seems that no other members wish to post about this topic :-(


*that's my term for us and I'm sticking to it :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2013   #8
Anak

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

Our machine was purchased new with IE8, then upgraded to IE9, IE10, and probably IE11 in the near future.
Is this the correct path?
Code:
C:\user\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache\WebcacheV01.dat
I ask because I can not find it anywhere on my system. I can only go as far as:
Code:
C:\Users\My Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows
I searched two ways:
  1. With Folders, Files, Drives, and protected Operating System Files hidden, and
  2. One with them showing.

I search from the Start Menu Search box then a manual search and I can not find WebCache or WebcacheV01.dat anywhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2013   #9
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Set your folder options like this:

(you can see the folder path)
IE10 uses WebcacheV01.dat vs index.dat files. How to clear/delete?-webcache.png

But don't delete any files in there just yet.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2013   #10
Anak

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Anak View Post
I searched two ways:
  1. With Folders, Files, Drives, and protected Operating System Files hidden, and
  2. One with them showing.
I could've sworn I had it set right the last time I checked, I must of missed an Apply or OK.

I have it sitting quietly at 51.8KB .


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post

But don't delete any files in there just yet.
Delete? It won't let me in, Its saying It is being used by another process and I'm using FF25 right now, although, from previous posts it seems WebcacheV01.dat is used for any system activity despite its filename.

It must be related to taskhost.exe:
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
Be careful if you opt to kill taskhost.exe on a real computer.

In your experience does deleting the contents mess with log-ins / passwords to various web sites, any difficulties running ones system after deletion?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 IE10 uses WebcacheV01.dat vs index.dat files. How to clear/delete?




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Clear Undo Delete/Move/Rename/Copy actions from context menu
Hello, I would like to know if there is any way to clear past actions of Delete/Move/Rename/Copy from the context menu in desktop without REBOOTING. http://i58.tinypic.com/w6zgbb.png I already tried Clear Clipboard Shortcut - Create in Windows option and Hot Copy Paste - Enhances Windows...
General Discussion
'Delete' is greyed out, so how to clear SD card?
My SD card from a digital camera (Canon IXUS 130) needs to be cleared. I can delete one image at a time which requires several moves for each image. Clearly not practical after many shots taken. While it's easy to navigate to the SD Card (when it's in the reader slot) and to load the images to...
Music, Pictures & Video
Temp files will not delete in IE10
Hellows. For the last two days. The temp files have not been deleting all of the way. I' am not admin of this computer either. So. Hopefully there is a solution I can do without harming this computer. I have also read that temp files can be stored on the computer for a...
Browsers & Mail
IE 10 on Windows 7 SP1 x64 Professional: WebcacheV01.dat size
I recently changed from IE9 to IE 10 Preview on my Windows 7 SP1 x86 and x64 Professional systems. IE 10 is functioning very well on my systems. Variable WebcacheV01.dat is located in the C:\Users\"MyName"\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Webcache folder. This variable keeps increasing in...
Browsers & Mail
Hard drive partitions won't clear out/delete
I have a computer that I want to update from XP to 7, and so I took the hard drive out of it and plugged it into a different computer I have(using some adapter thing) I went to disk management and went to delete the volumes / partitions and such. so that its all unallocated space and I can do a...
Hardware & Devices
how di I move files to clear diskspace
I need to clear up some diskspace by moving lots of picture and movie files to an external hard drive. On xp and previous you just right click and move them. On seven it is not so simple it seems. In help it tells you 30 ways to do everything else. so someone please let me in on this little...
Performance & Maintenance


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:13.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App