Index.dat files are windows system files on windows which records every web site you visit with internet explorer. These files are hidden on your computer that contain all of the Web sites that you have ever visited.
Every URL, and every Web page is listed there. Not only that but all of the email that has been sent or received through Outlook or Outlook Express is also being logged. Microsoft has not supplied an adequate explanation as to what these files are for or why they have been hidden so well.
According to Microsoft, these index.dat files are used to store cache of visited sites to speed up the loading of sites in Internet Explorer. But this cannot be the case because when we delete the Temporary Internet Files the “index.dat” files remain behind.
Irrespective of what ever program you have been using to clean windows history they may clean but does not delete index.dat files on your computer as they protected in real time by windows operating system.
Let’s see how can you either clean or delete all the information stored inside these index.dat files on your windows computer
There are different free programs which lets you either clean the index.dat files or clean them, we will discus about both of them one by one.
1. Index.dat Analyser ( For XP Only ) – It lets you browse and delete index.dat files on your stored at different paths on your computer
Index.dat analyser interface is quite easy to use as you can check all the files and click the delete button ( Red cross sign ) and get rid of everything.
2. Privacy Mantra ( For Vista and XP )- Privacy Mantra allows you to clean tracks by deleting or clean the existing index.dat files on your computer. It will erase and wash away most privacy threats in your machine including, Internet history, cache, cookies, index.dat files, auto-complete forms, search assistant, recent documents, open/save dialogs, run files, Mozilla Firefox, Google Toolbar and more.
Both of the above program are free to use and lets you delete or clean the index.dat files on your computer which may become a privacy threat for you. On the other hand by using these programs you will get more disk space free to use.