A few words about the cache / history on Internet Explorer 10

Recently, I have received multiple reports from users of Internet Explorer 10 ( On Windows 8 ) saying that my history/cache utilities fail to work with IE10, and they are right...
As opposed to all previous versions of Internet Explorer that used the same file structure to store the history/cache/cookies information, IE10 uses a completely new file structure. Instead of the old index.dat file, IE10 stores all cache/history information inside a single Jet Blue database (Also known as ESE database or .edb file). This database file is WebCacheV24.dat, and it's located under C:\Users\[User Profile]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache folder

I have already developed the code to read this file in order to update my tools for Internet Explorer 10, but there is still one major problem with this file: While Internet Explorer is opened, and also a few minutes after it's closed, this file is completely locked, and other software (like my tools) cannot open it. There is one solution to bypass this database locking problem - by copying the database into another location using 'Volume Shadow Copy' service and then reading the copy of the database.

Reading the locked database using the 'Volume Shadow Copy' method has a few drawbacks:

  1. This process and quite slow and aggressive.
  2. It works only with full admin rights.
  3. On 64-bit systems, only 64-bit application can use this service.
  4. The copied locked database doesn't contain the latest browsing history. The latest history/cache is written to the database a few minutes after closing the IE10 Web browser, when the file is unlocked.

Generally, I prefer to avoid from using this 'Volume Shadow Copy' method and find a better way to read the locked database of IE10. For now, I updated only one tool, BrowsingHistoryView, for reading the browsing history of IE10. There is also an option to read the history when the database file is locked (using Volume Shadow Copy), but it's active only when running BrowsingHistoryView.exe with /UseVolumeShadowCopy command-line parameter:

BrowsingHistoryView.exe /UseVolumeShadowCopy

If you have a system with Internet Explorer 10, you're welcomed to try it and see if it's reasonable to use this 'Volume Shadow Copy' method regularly. Remember that you have to execute BrowsingHistoryView as administrator, otherwise, it won't be able to read the history file while it's locked.

7 Responses to “A few words about the cache / history on Internet Explorer 10”

  1. Luke Says:

    Could you not, in the new application, have a way of recognizing whether the file is accessible?

    Then you could have a way of refreshing (re-checking) if it is so, or have it on an approximate timer to recheck.
    Thus not making the application work until it is able to get to the file.

  2. Rick Says:

    It's called WebCacheV01.dat in my Win8 installs, so I guess the name varies.

    It's also coming in IE10 for Win7:

    Interestingly, in Win8 there still is an active Temporary Internet Files folder, and that location is still what's cited in the General tab of Internet Options. Why both?

  3. Mir Says:

    Hi Nir, I have spent quite a bit of time reading about all these fascinating inventions of yours. I just finished reading about you as well. I hope this profession makes you a lot of money:)! You deserve it. Well, now I will try to go through the steps to extract your files onto a flash drive. This week I have to again completely reformat my hard drive as it is so corrupted. I think someone in another country deployed an enterprise and other servers on my home premium! There are millions of files and it seems I am running a bunch of servers. But the problem is that I don't have a business!! I get very paranoid and wonder why someone is monitoring me so consistently. Well happy programming... I sure hope I don't screw this up. My eyes are kind of hurting from looking at the screen so much. I think I will take a break first and go on Facebook and listen to Pink Floyd in honor of David
    Gilmour's birthday yesterday!! Thanks again Nir, your new pal Mir: yes, everybody calls me Mir... That's so funny:)!!

  4. Tom Says:

    IE Cookies View does not work with IE10 on Win7-64. (IE10 is 64-bit on that OS.) Too bad. There was also a problem with IECV on IE9 Win7-64, in that one had to clear C:\Users\Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files for it to work, but I needed to clear that anyway. Would love to see a new version of IECV, if one can be developed for IE10, even if it only runs with a lag post IE10 close. Also I wonder if IECV could have a check box for cookies which would be kept, or for those which should always be deleted (white list/black list).

  5. Pramod Ghuge Says:

    Yup it got broken for me once I upgraded IE to version 10 on Windows 7. So I had to search whether the location of index.dat file was changed in IE10 and happily enough this post was the first search result.

    Could open the history using BrowsingHistoryView.exe with the /UseVolumeShadowCopy command-line parameter.

    Thanks! Your tools have got me out of so many tight spots that I cant even count. You rock! :P

  6. Pat Says:

    Thanks a lot for the explaination (on my laptop the file is WebCacheV01.dat) and looking forward to your resolution of the IE10 problem, VideoCahceView is a great utility. Sorry I'm not good enough to help you technicaly but ll make a donation, promise.

  7. Marcus Says:

    WIN 8 IE10
    If I stop the 'host process for windows tasks' I can easily copy WebCacheVxxx.dat with Visual Studio...

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