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Windows 7: Index.dat in 2011 After All MS Updates to Windows 7

11 Jan 2011   #1
Molly Lee

Windows 7 Home Premium
Index.dat in 2011 After All MS Updates to Windows 7

MS keeps updating Windows 7 to ensure that we can no longer delete or reset the index.dat files. The result is that no matter what fix is posted here, MS does something to ensure the fix no longer works.

Here's the laundry list of solutions that no longer work.

Malwarebytes (various problems -- says file is open in Malwarebytes, is hidden and cannot be found even though Windows options have been changed to show hidden files)
CCleaner (ineffective)
index.dat Suite (currently completely disabled for Windows 7)
index.dat suite (to find all files) combined with Eraser (to erase the files) (comes back wtih error message)
Red Button (can't remember specifics here -- just that it doesn't work)
Mil Sheild (can't remember specifics on this one either -- just that it doesn't work)

and finally the instructions in the most recent thread on Index.dat which involve booting in safe command and going to the root file to delete index.dat. (I receive an error message that the file does not exist even though I can find 15 separate index.dat files with index.dat suite.

I'm not computer savvy so I need kindergarten type baby step instructions on how to delete or reset the files under the lastest greatest Windows 7 with all updates to 2011. Has anyone figured this out yet? Will you please help me?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #2

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

Hi Molly Lee and a warm welcome to the Forum.
As you say
Neither am I a computer expert. and I'm not computer savvy so I need kindergarten type baby step instructions on how to delete or reset the files
May I boldly suggest that it is not very wise to "mess" with the system files. This is really why, by default, they are hidden. Someone else may help you but frankly I would never encourage anyone who didn't consider themselves to be quite experienced to edit system files.
But then if you insist there are a number of threads on this forum. Try this one for starters;
removing the index.dat - Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #3
Molly Lee

Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks for the reminder! I agree that's a concern. And that is exactly why I'm here reaching to for help. I don't know computers but there are some brilliant people on this forum. They do know how to fix it and they do know how to give instructions. And I'm pretty good at following instructions.

Thanks for the thread reference. That's the one I referred to above in my original post. Each of the solutions no longer works because of updates to Windows (I detailed the ones I tried). The only one I haven't tried is the batch file because I do not know how to write batch files and include them in the registry and there are no detailed instructions for that.

If someone knows how to do that, I'd love some help. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jan 2011   #4


I too would like to know this. If you halfway know what you're doing and are careful messing with the system files shouldnt be all that terrible. I spent almost an hour last night "messing with system protected files" with no problem. Though I will admit to backing them up first. But.... I this morning deleted the backup and securely erased them.

Molly Lee ..... if you can find the files and access them you may need to delete them by changing ownership which is harder than it SHOULD be but not impossible (just tedious). As I said, spent an hour doing that last night, and I am by no means an I.T. expert. Look online for the way to change/modify a file by getting past "Trusted Installer". While I have not done this with index.dat files, I will be looking into it as soon as I log off today. Good Luck and P.M. me if you find an easier way to do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #5
Molly Lee

Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks for the lead! You may be onto somthing here. I hadn't tried to get past the "trusted installer" but I did try to change the ownership and attributes of the files. Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit)


In the Microsoft Windows operating system, index.dat is a database file used by the Internet Explorerweb browser. It is used to improve performance.


The index.dat file is a database file. It is a repository of information such as web URLs, search queries and recently opened files. Its purpose is to enable quick access to data used by Internet Explorer. For example, every web address visited is stored in the index.dat file, allowing Internet Explorer to quickly find Autocomplete matches as the user types a web address. The index.dat file is user-specific and is open as long a user is logged on in Windows. Separate index.dat files exist for the Internet Explorer history, cache, and cookies.
The index.dat file is never resized or deleted. A large index.dat file can impair performance.

Note: The .dat extension is commonly used for data files (files that are not human-readable and do not hold a document-based binary file). It's possible to find files named 'index.dat' that are not used by Internet Explorer.


Internet privacy groups contend that the use of index.dat files in the Windows operating system is an invasion of users' privacy. The information contained in an index.dat file can be considered private to the user.
One of the groups' main complaints is that the index.dat files cannot easily be deleted.
This is because windows prevents open or "locked" files from being deleted.

It has been contended that the means provided by the Windows operating system for removing information from the index.dat files give a false sense of security. Although the internet cache folder can be cleared, its use cannot be disabled. Also, removing individual entries from an index.dat file (for example, by using Windows Explorer) only prevents those entries being used; it does not remove the files referenced until the next "cleanup". (Marking single entries as deleted rather than erasing them is a common database method of quickly removing items from use whilst also retaining those items should it be desirable to reverse the deletion.)
While some have claimed that the Windows Operating System deliberately hides index.dat files, others point to the fact that Windows Explorer offers users a detailed view of the content of the files when browsing containing folders, even allowing the removal of specific entries.
Various free programs (among them Red Button, CCleaner, Index.dat Suite), can completely remove index.dat files until they are recreated by Windows, though CCleaner, and perhaps the others, does not delete the hidden index.dat file in the Temporary Internet Files folder, which contains a copy of the cookies that were in the Cookies folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1

I was wondering about that myself! I only have Firefox installed and used the feature remove to drop IE awhile back. Yet, CC cleaner keeps on detecting the IE history file (index.dat)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #8
Molly Lee

Windows 7 Home Premium

IggyAZ -- Your posting matches the Wikipedia article on index.dat. The solutions in wikipedia don't work anymore -- updates to Windows 7 have made it more difficult -- if not impossible to delete the contents (or "refresh") the file. See the original post for a list of these and other "solutions" that no longer work. Anybody got the latest greatest way to fix the index.dat?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #9


I am in the middle of something and cant try out the suggestion I made earlier.

Heres the link I found for getting past "trustedInstaller" though, and its really not as hard as it sounds.

Windows 7 – How to Delete Files Protected by TrustedInstaller

index.dat suite will show you the location of your index.dat files but wont remove them in win7.

Index.dat Suite - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #10

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

Well just to add another two pennyworth here I have never come across the index.dat files noticeable slowing down anything i do on the internet. What internet applications do you refer to MollyLee? Do you mean your browser, if so have you tried Chrome? Its much faster than most of the others. Also does your internet speed fluctuate during certain times of the day? Have you tried random speed checks just to eliminate/ If not try this one: - The Global Broadband Speed Test
There are so many different reasons for slow internet use that is is well worth checking them all before editing any of our system files!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Index.dat in 2011 After All MS Updates to Windows 7

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