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: WebcacheV01.dat - A major privacy issue. How to delete?

03 Sep 2015   #1
Lexus45

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
WebcacheV01.dat - A major privacy issue. How to delete?

I would like to open a thread on this major privacy spy folder one more time to see if anyone has, or can create a program to effectively allow users to delete this folder and its contents without harm to the operating system.

Google this folder and you can read about numerous requests to delete this folder and info.

The contents of this folder can not be deleted, cleared, or reduced in size by ANY user accessable buttons or menus built into Windows or IE. Privacy mode does NOT prevent the logging of this information.

In summary, beginning with Internet Explorer 10 and continuing through IE11 and now the new Edge, Microsoft switched from using index.dat files to this data base folder to RETAIN ALL THE WEBSITES YOU VISIT, HOW OFTEN, BY WHAT MEANS, AS WELL AS DATA YOU ENTER INTO FORMS ETC.

There is now a question when using Windows 10 and all Microsoft's telemety/privacy concerns as to whether they have access to this folder/file information.

Google INTERNET EXPLORER FORENSICS and you will find numerous articles on how people who want to obtain all this information from your computer can do so (hackers, government, attorneys, authorities, etc).

Originally Microsoft explained that capturing this information in index.dat files speeded up Internet Explorer. However the index.dat could be deleted if the user desired.
IE 10 was redesigned and computers are much faster so they went to a new ESE database design to retain even more information on users usage - for what purpose?

While there is all this help to obtain your information, there are no programs from anyone or company to help us delete this information!

The database appears to be locked by taskhost.exe and cannot be deleted as it is in constant use by the system.

CCleaner advises they do not clean or delete it and PrivaZer provides only partial cleaning. Several of the forensics sites talk at length about the results of testing these programs.

So why does Microsoft insist on accumulating this data??
Why can't someone or company develop a way to effectively delete this folder/file if the user wants to protect their privacy?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
03 Sep 2015   #2
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Well there's a long thread on the topic here:

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

Now it can be deleted and can even have selected entries from within the file deleted. The problem with simply deleting it is that it gets rebuilt anyway. After deletion I tend to delete certain containers - I believe these are used to re-create the file if someone attempts to delete it.

However I would say that this was something I looked at a long time ago and haven't bothered with since then. Why are you worried?

Edit: More about those containers:

Forensic analysis of the ESE database in Internet Explorer 10 | Forensic Focus - Articles

Bottom line - wipe HD and reinstall windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2015   #3
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lexus45 View Post
I would like to open a thread on this major privacy spy folder one more time to see if anyone has, or can create a program to effectively allow users to delete this folder and its contents without harm to the operating system.
~~~
Most of the warnings that I issued in that 2013 thread about not forcing taskhost.exe to close were there because it is impossible for me to know how killing that exe will impact the software that users might have on their computer. If no one responds to this thread with a software tool that does what you want, then I will try and help you write your own tool.

The options (as I see them) are:

You close IE and manually run a batch file that removes the folder (and thus, its contents).

You create a scheduled task to run that batch file as often as desired.

You always run a script that watches for IE to close - then it removes the folder for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Sep 2015   #4
Lexus45

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Callender,
The thread you refer to was the one I started when this issue first came to light.
There is no readily available solution in this thread for a user to get rid of this folder or its files.
As I pointed out the most promising program PrivaZer was somewhat laughed at in several forensic write ups for leaving alot of information behind and CCleaner has yet to do anything (which makes one wonder since they readily cleaned the old index.dat file and have cleaners for other browsers dat files but not for Internet Explorer since version 10 - why?)
In addition on many systems this folder keeps growing and growing as it retains and never deletes its user information.

Your question "why are you worried" should be obvious for all of us in this day and age of system breaches, hackers, and as a general principal - what a user does on their own computer should not be unwillingly available to anybody who wants to look into it. This is the age old question that always comes up as if those that want to protect their privacy have something to hide. NO its just no one's business! Just because we use computers in lieu of paper does not give others additional rights to that information.

The question is why so few people care that all their activities and information entered into forms is being recorded and kept in a folder/files that they can do nothing about. Why is Mircosoft allowed to gather all this information and for what purpose? Not for the user.

Wiping drives and reinstalling windows is not a reasonable routine to manage this situation on a regular basis for most users.

When index.dat was discovered years ago, everyone was concerned and every computer oriented magagzine and programer quickly provided an easy way to delete this file and information.
Microsoft changes the game, forensic companies jump all over it on how to extract user information, and to-date no magazine guru, or application company has come out with a solution or complete solution to allow a user to delete this information which is of absolutely no value to that user.

Should make us all wonder - why?

UsernameIssues,
Thanks for your offer which I will take you up on if this post cannot get an easy solution for all users concerned with their privacy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2015   #5
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lexus45 View Post
~~~
Why is Mircosoft allowed to gather all this information and for what purpose?
~~~
Since I don't know what the info is used for, I can not say if it is good that Microsoft gathers it. I'm just going to attempt to answer your question: Microsoft owns the operating system. They can do whatever they want with their OS (within the applicable laws). You only purchased a license to use Microsoft's operating system. If the OS is not suitable for your privacy needs, pick another OS :-)

You might have to surf the Internet after booting to a Linux CD.

I'm not being snarky - just stating how I look at it. I'm not concerned with the OS gathering info. I just want IE to act as if it is visiting a website for the first time every time.

Perhaps this next analogy is flawed, but:
A car rental company can install GPS, video and audio monitoring systems in their cars because they own those cars. There are even biometric sensors on steering wheels to monitor you.... but you don't have to rent the car from them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2015   #6
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I'd agree Usernameissues and say that if privacy is important use a Linux Live USB and boot from it. There are also many other areas where privacy is an issue - not just the webcachev01.dat file. Privazer doesn't claim to delete the file - just to remove some entries from it when the user chooses to delete them. The problem with simply deleting it is that it is recreated on boot or soon after boot and the question you need to ask is where that data comes from. It would appear to be from several other sources/ containers and that information makes it's way into the webcachev01.dat file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2015   #7
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

...but when it comes back, it will be empty.
It won't have months worth of data inside of it.

I delete it dozens of times each day and have done so since IE10 first came out. The caveat being: my combination of apps are probably not the combination of apps that others run. I cannot say what impact it will have on all apps. It does not seem to impact the OS. Once deleted, it does not come back until IE is opened or until some app makes a call to an IE API. For instance, I have some help documents that are in the CHM file format. Opening one of those causes DLLHost.exe to rebuild that folder.

I'm aware of the various CHM exploits. I have no idea if it is safer to kill off DLLHost.exe and remove the folder or to leave it there until the help file is closed. There seems to be no impact on using the help file if the DLLHost.exe is killed and the folder is removed while the help file is open.

Opening Windows 7 native Windows Photo Viewer causes DLLHost.exe to rebuild that folder. Killing the DLLHost.exe closes that viewer.

I use a little weather app. Starting it causes DLLHost.exe to rebuild that folder. Killing the DLLHost.exe and removing the folder does not impact how the weather app functions.


Deleting the folder does add to the illusion that privacy exits :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 WebcacheV01.dat - A major privacy issue. How to delete?




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Secuity/Privacy Issue with Text Files
If I open a text file from an attached USB drive to view it, close the file, and then remove the drive is there anyway someone could still get that information from that text file on my computer? If yes what needs to be purged? I ask this because even though I could encrypt the text file but to...
Software
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...
Browsers & Mail
Windows Live Mail 2011 Privacy Issue
Hi does anyone know if Windows Live Mail 2011 stores all our emails in a Microsoft Server? Like is it web-based or is it just purely a desktop email client like Thunderbird? I'm hearing all sorts of things about it like all our emails are being stored somewhere in a MS server as well as in our...
Browsers & Mail
File Privacy Issue
Ok, Well I have had my computer with Windows 7 since Christmas of '09, and I am pleased with it (blah...blah, you know). Anyways, the only major issue I noticed was that anyone can access my files from their user, even the Guest! How can I make it so only I can access them, and no one else? It...
General Discussion
Privacy Issue
How do I get rid of this type of display of individual file in start menu http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l181/yousaf465/chrome.jpg
General Discussion


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 04:06.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App