Clearing Locked Internet Explorer History Data

This page is to document the use of the new versions of PurgeIE and PurgeIE Pro to clear Internet Explorer History even if the History file is locked by the other programs or locked by 'Windows Explorer'.

Both PurgeIE and PurgeIE Pro can clear Internet Explorer History even when Internet Explorer can't clear it's own History.

A lot of individuals using Internet Explorer have a problem deleting their Daily History.  This is not limited to PurgeIE users.  In some cases the History simply can not be deleted by using I.E.'s 'Clear History' function.  In other cases the History appears to delete but will return later.

We created a page over two years ago to document this problem.  The link for the page is -

The 'lockhist' page is currently being visited 60 - 100 times per day.  Most visitors find the 'lockhist' page via Google search.

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Until fairly recently, we knew that external programs such as 'Easy CD Creator 4' were interfering with the I.E.'s 'Clear History' function.  The 'lockhist' page discusses the problem as we knew it in the past.

More recently, it became apparent that this same interference can be caused by 'Windows Explorer' (the My Computer shortcut) and, therefore, affects a much larger segment of the I.E. users.

Yes, 'Windows Explorer' can cause the lock.  This has been found to be a problem with IE-5 and IE-6.  Although this can exhibit itself when running Win-XP, it seems to be more frequent under Win-2000.  This is due to Windows recording data file accesses in the Daily History files and in the Visited Index.dat file.

Note - beginning with Windows 8, Index.dat files are not used. 

Beginning with PurgeIE 5.04 and PurgeIE Pro 1.05, the program logic was enhanced for the 'History Folders' option to clear the data within the Daily History file if the system was unable to delete the Internet History file.  This clearing functions regardless of the lock problems mentioned above.

The logic for the 'Visited URLs' options was also modified to clear the data within the Index.dat file used for 'Visited URLs'.  This should avoid the 'Error in URL' problems that many users have experienced as the file is reinitialized to its initial empty state.  This should automatically repair any 'Corrupted Cache' problem within the Index.dat file used for 'Visited URLs'.

Note - the change only affects the 'History Folders' and the 'Visited URLs' options and that these changes are not enabled for IE-4 systems.

For current users, just download and install the new version into your current PurgeIE, or PurgeIE Pro, folder.  There are no fees to upgrade an older version of PurgeIE to the new version of PurgeIE and there are no fees to upgrade an older version of PurgeIE Pro to the new version of PurgeIE Pro.

For new users, download and install PurgeIE, or PurgeIE Pro, on your system and try it for yourself.  You will have 15 non-contiguous days to try the software on your system.  All features and functions are available during the trial.  See for yourself that the History can be cleared.

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Revised: January 20, 2022