Deleting INDEX.DAT and Content.IE5

Jason T. has a common frustration:

This evening I was deleting some old files on my computer to make room for some video editing. Normally the first place I go to delete old files is the “Temporary Internet Files” folder because I watch a lot of video content on the internet, so this folder gets very big very fast. Today, however, I found out that the “Temporary Internet Files” folder was still 2GB even after deleting everything in the folder and deleting the cookies/offline content through Internet Options.

In order to figure out what was taking up 2GB, I copied and pasted the “Temporary Internet File” folder to another hard drive. When I opened the “Temporary Internet Files” folder on the other drive, I found a folder called “Content.IE5” and it contained nine other folders with names like 4PA7S92Z, 8D4BSR0Z and VZT2IQRV.

Inside of each of the nine folders were files from MySpace friends, Google searches, Amazon purchases, pictures I have uploaded, and a massive index.dat file containing my most recently viewed WebPages. What disturbed me the most was that this secret folder was hidden so well without any means to delete the files unless one knew the direct path C:Documents and SettingsUserNameLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5 and deleted the file manually.

I even went to Folder Options | View and selected “show hidden files and folders” and unselected “Hide protected operating system files”, but the Content.IE5 folder was still hidden.

I just wanted to know if you knew what this folder was for and if you know of any other hidden folders that archive a user’s personal information? I would also like to request that tell others about the existence of the hidden folder so they can reclaim valuable hard drive space and delete personal info.

Yeah, that’s been an issue with Internet Explorer stretching back to the days of Windows 98 IIRC. Worse yet, Microsoft still doesn’t care. The Windows community-at-large, however, does care a great deal. I’ll point you to CCleaner to get rid of what you’d like to get rid of (safely and easily).