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Windows 8 Note  -  PurgeIE, PurgeIE Pro and PurgeFox were designed to work with Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Prior to Windows 8, Internet Explorer utilized files named Index.dat for indexing the Cache, Cookies and History information.

Beginning with Windows 8, Index.dat files are not used. The indexing functions are implemented within a Microsoft database system.


PurgeIE is the "Swiss Army Knife" of Cache and Cookie Utilities for Internet Explorer 5.x -  10.x. It provides unequaled versatility in its operation. PurgeIE addresses the two major concerns that consumers express about cookiesóprivacy and management & control. This versatile program allows you either to manage your cookies and cache files in a logical manner or, for complete privacy, to eliminate them altogether, complete with all references, tracks, trails and strays. If you desire, PurgeIE allows you to protect the cookies that control such functions as online-vendor accounting files and that enhance your browsing on the Internet. You donít have to reboot your computer or shut down windows to use PurgeIE. Once the easy initial set-up is accomplished, all you have to do is click the PurgeIE icon on your desktop at any time and your cookie worries are over. A thorough, plain language Help File is included for your convenience. E-Mail support is provided for problem reporting and resolution. PurgeIE, also known as Purge Cache, Cookies and Tracks for Internet Explorer, is compatible with Windows  XP, VISTA, Win-7 and Win-8.  A full explanation of why PurgeIE was developed and how the software works is provided in the following text.

Consumer Issues and Concerns

The issues that consumers have with cookies probably are as numerous and varied as the intents and purposes behind the use of cookies. Cookies can be helpful but some consumers are concerned about privacy issues surrounding cookie use. Other consumers are concerned with both the sheer volume of cookies and their storage requirements. Consumers want solutions ranging from the complete elimination of cookies from their platform to logical management and control of cookie use and storage.

You can avoid the cookie controversy by simply choosing not to accept cookies, an option available in the various versions of Internet Explorer. An unconditional fact of life is, however, that you cannot navigate some sites on the Internet (such as portions of www.microsoft.com) unless you accept cookies. Many vendors use cookies to keep track of your purchases and your accounts. If you want or need to navigate cookie-required sites or to place an order that requires cookies, you have to turn on cookie use via Windows Control Panel and then remember to turn it off again when you leave the site. Enabling and disabling cookie use is obviously not the answeróit degrades the quality of your Internet experience and does not offer you a solution for the cookies already in your machine and those that are surely yet to come.

The Answer

PurgeIE addresses two major categories of cache and cookie concerns under which most consumer "issues" fallóprivacy and management & control. Now you can use PurgeIE to manage, maintain and update cache and cookie files properly or you can choose to eliminate all cookies and their reference trails.

If privacy if your objective, PurgeIE can be used to delete all cache, history and unprotected cookies at the press of a button.

You can protect the cookies that you require for normal activity and for managing vendor accounts by selecting them in PurgeIEís Protect window. PurgeIE will save your choices and will, optionally, delete the rest. That provides you total control over cookies.

If cache management is your goal, PurgeIE logically deletes the older cache files while keeping the more current ones. This greatly improves the operation of Internet Explorer by preventing it from its random deletion of cache files. This Internet Explorer phenomenon is covered in the Background section below.

The Caching system used by Internet Explorer utilizes indexing files to retain URL (Internet Address information) entries with pointers to cache and cookie data. These files, named INDEX.DAT, also are used to contain the history URLs.

PurgeIE uses Microsoft caching routines to perform its cache/cookie purge functions. This ensures that the indexing data is kept in synchronization with the cache and cookie data. It also ensures the elimination of the tracks that other cookie/cache utilities leave behind when they delete only the cookie and cache data files.

Options and New Concepts in PurgeIE

  • Offline cache is distinguished from Online Cache so that the two types can be purged individually by simply checking the appropriate selection box.

    Offline Cache represents the files downloaded for "Offline Viewing".  This was referred to as Subscription Cache in IE-4.  This document uses the term Online Cache to refer to "other than Offline" Cache.
  • Different ages (minimum time since last use) can be specified for the processing of Offline and Online Cache.
  • Internet Explorerís primary INDEX.DAT files are properly updated without deleting them using Microsoft caching routines. This avoids the requirement for rebooting used by other cookie/cache utilities that simply delete the primary INDEX.DAT files.
  • Choosing the option for deleting stray cache and cookie files will allow PurgeIE to remove files for which the index pointers have been lost by Internet Explorer within the INDEX.DAT files. This option also deletes URLs that no longer point to data files.
  • Cookies can be protected from purging easily and conveniently in the Protect window of the PurgeIE user interface.
  • PurgeIE functions as a track cleaning utility by deleting the userís tracks that Internet Explorer deposits in various cache files, the INDEX.DAT files, the history folders, the Windows temporary files and the registry.
  • A Preview capability is provided that allows the user to see what the effect of each of the selected cookie and cache purge options will be before purging and without the danger of losing desirable data.
  • PurgeIE provides an option for the emergency deletion of Internet Explorerís cache, history and cookies folders in the event that a system crash or power failure corrupts one, or more, of them. It has been reported that corrupted Internet Explorer folders can prevent execution of Internet Explorer.


The Problem

Internet Explorer is notorious for the (mis)management of its cache system to the extent that it appears self-defeating. The problem is manifest, in the least part, by delayed response times when working online or, in the worst part, by the inability to access current or recent data when working offline. This problem persists even into the recently released version of Internet Explorer 5.x. A common complaint is that when Internet Explorer determines that the cache has become too large, it randomly deletes cache entries as opposed to selectively deleting old files. This defeats the purpose of the cache, which is to retain recently referenced pages for ready access within the browser without having to return to the Internet.

So What?

Internet Explorerís cache management system causes a very real problem for an airborne commuter who wants to use his laptop to view important or critical information that he had downloaded from the Internet the previous evening. If the cache information can not be accessed because of random, rather than age-based, deletion by Internet Explorerís cache management, the hapless commuter may be required to reconnect to the Internetóan expensive proposition using in-plane phones. However, if a commuter, or traveler, does not have telephone access at all in such a situation, which can easily be the case if working with a laptop in the field or other isolated area, he can accomplish nothing. Online users experience this problem to a lesser degree each time they have to wait while a Web-page has to be downloaded again from the Internet when the "Back" function is used. Whether an expense or a critical loss of time is involved or not, it is an unnecessary nuisance.

The Solution

PurgelE was programmed to utilize age (time since last use) in its cache cleanup functions. By deleting only those files with the oldest dates during cache cleanup, PurgeIE returns the purpose and function of a true cache to Internet Explorer. If PurgeIE had been used at timely intervals for cookie, cache and file management & control, the commuter in the example above could have avoided unnecessary expense, the traveler would not have lost critical time and online users would not have to tolerate the unnecessary frustration of incessant delays.

PurgelE can keep the cache down to a reasonable size. If not properly maintained, the cache INDEX.DAT file can become ridiculously large and cause response time problems within Internet Explorer.

There are other cookie/cache utilities available. Some seem to work on Windows 98 but refuse to work on NT-4.0 and Windows 2000. Some process only cookies while others process only cache. Some utilities blindly delete cache and/or cookie files without regard to usage information. They ignore the corresponding INDEX.DAT files during the deletion process and that leaves the various, now-useless URL entries in place to lengthen wait times as Internet Explorer tries to process files deleted from the cache. Some utilities will only delete the INDEX.DAT files under DOS during your next Windows restart. Unless those utilities delete the complete Internet Explorer folder, the existing cookie and cache files become strays.


PurgeIE offers unequaled versatility in cookie, cache and file management & control. You can opt for customized cookie management or for cookie elimination complete with all references, tracks, trails and strays. PurgelE was designed for Windows XP/VISTA/Win-7/Win-8 with Internet Explorer 5.x -  10.x. 

The design focuses on the processing of Internet Explorerís INDEX.DAT files to maintain true cache functionality. That keeps the indexes and files in synchronization without the user having to reboot or shut down Windows. The added benefit is that PurgeIE returns the function of a true cache to Internet Explorer by not only maintaining the cache within boundaries that allow optimum response times, but also by deleting only the older files when doing so. Now online work need not be hindered by unnecessary delays and load times and offline work can become a more reliable and dependable alternative when there is no Internet access.

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Revised: August 23, 2015