Article updated on November 30, 2007

There are two ways to manually delete index.dat files, safe mode or using the Windows task manager.

Windows Task Manager

  1. Search for index.dat files
  2. Make a note of the filepaths to the index.dat files
  3. Start Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del)
  4. Kill explorer.exe and iexplorer.exe
  5. Go to menu " File
  6. Click "Run..."
  7. Type "cmd" + press enter
  8. Navigate to index.dat files
  9. Use "del" to delete them ( del index.dat + press enter)
  10. Repeat the above steps (8-9) for each index.dat file
  11. Restart explorer.exe in command prompt (cmd)
  12. Exit command prompt and windows task manager

Safe mode

  1. Restart your computer in safe mode
    How to: Hold down the key F8 during computer startup
    Select safe mode
  2. Browse to your index.dat files
  3. Delete index.dat files
  4. Restart computer