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Internet Explorer Forensics - extract browser history and cache data with IECacheList Lite

Display the contents of Internet Explorer's index.dat files, including 'lost' and hidden content

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Have you ever wondered about the contents of the Internet Explorer ("IE") cache? Wanted to know if the cache is really empty when you tell (or ask) IE to delete temporary files? Want to know what's kept in those INDEX.DAT files that are stored in your user profile?

IECacheList Lite is a command line utility that will examine the contents of Internet Explorer's index.dat files and display them for you. The method used by IECacheList is designed to ensure that no 'hidden' or lost information escapes detection.

The interesting thing about these files is that the IE cache tends to accumulate dead information, some of which remains even after you tell Internet Explorer to empty the cache, clear the history, delete cookies, etc. This causes the index.dat file to grow over time, accumulating these 'lost' bits of data on your hard drive(s). Another oddity is that IE seems to leave multiple copies of index.dat in different locations on the computer's hard drives, perhaps due to changing configuration or service patches.

These problems have been attributed to a number of causes: 'bugs' in IE's cache management code, malicious data gathering by Microsoft, etc. See Google search: "index.dat hidden" for juicy details along with a dose of paranoia.

In any case, it's never a good idea to accumulate bits of your surfing history, cookies, and other information scattered all over your system. Knowing about the information that is stored on your computer is a good way to become better aware of the need to clean this data from time to time. IECacheList is a good way to learn about it.


100% Clean!
  • Quickly display Internet Explorer cache, history, cookies index.dat file contents for currently logged in user account.
  • Allows logging of output to a text file for later use.


Click here to download the latest version.

System Requirements

IECacheList Lite has been tested on Internet Explorer versions 5 through 7, on Windows 9x/ME, 2000, and XP.

NOTE: Windows NT4 systems may have some problems depending on the installed version of Internet Explorer. We have not tested on Internet Explorer version 4, although it should work. IECacheList Lite does not work with Internet Explorer version 3 or earlier.

Related links

IECacheList1.0.2.0.zip78.46 KB