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I have noticed that as of late, firefox (on my Vista machine) is creating a lot of etilqs files in my C:\Windows\Temp directory. Generally (as I understand it) these are supposed to be small temporary files that get emptied by firefox when you shut down. However, I am seeing numerous 100MB+ sized files in my temp directory.

What do these files do?

Is it safe for me to just go into that directory and delete them?

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Which version of Firefox are you running? – iglvzx Jan 2 '12 at 2:58
9.0.1 according to my "about". Some of these files are a bit older though, I just noticed that they were building up (I was searching for an unknown file that I knew was 100MB or larger, and ended up finding these). – Larian LeQuella Jan 2 '12 at 3:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Are you also running any anti-virus software? It is possible that these temp files are being 'locked' for inspection, and not being removed when they should be. Perhaps set your AV software to ignore *.etilqs files. I do not see any problem with deleting these files, as they are supposed to be temporary SQLITE database files.

Note: to check for handles on *.etilqs files, you can run Process Explorer and search for etilqs.

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In most cases you can delete files that are inside a tmp or temp folder and multiple days or weeks old.

SQLite is a portable database format. etilqs is sqlite backwards. Why backwards?

2006-10-31:  The default prefix used to be "sqlite_".  But then
Mcafee started using SQLite in their anti-virus product and it
started putting files with the "sqlite" name in the c:/temp folder.
This annoyed many windows users.  Those users would then do a 
Google search for "sqlite", find the telephone numbers of the
developers and call to wake them up at night and complain.
For this reason, the default name prefix is changed to be "sqlite" 
spelled backwards.  So the temp files are still identified, but
anybody smart enough to figure out the code is also likely smart
enough to know that calling the developer will not help get rid
of the file.


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I have these files in my temp dir as well, according to process explorer they are created/handled by the Google Chrome browser.

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If Firefox doesn't quit gracefully, it doesn't clean up these files next time it starts either. You will accumulate temporary etilqs files, two for every time Firefox crashed. I confirmed this most recently for Firefox 34.0.

As they're temporary cache files, it's safe to remove them. If Firefox is running and some of the files are in use, they will be locked by the Firefox process and can't be removed. Any etilqs files that aren't locked are safe to delete (in general, everything in a directory called Temp is supposed to be safe to delete).

Since Firefox crashes quite often for me, I regularly have to clean up these files. Over the course of a few days, Firefox tends to fill up my Windows partition with 20+ GB of them up until no free space remains. Removing the files has never led to any problems.

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On Win7 Pro, I'm running Chrome as my browser. These SQLITE "ETILQS" files show up in the %temp% dir. I ran taskmgr to see what's going on. After shutting down my Chrome browser, I noticed that several instances of chrome were still running and consuming memory in a dynamic fashion, even though all chrome programs were shut down, at least from the user's perspective.

The programmer's creed should be to "leave things like you found them." Google's Chrome no longer does that. So, after using Chrome, I peak in the %temp% dir and see the ETILQS files. Then I press Control+Alt+Del and start taskmgr. Under taskmgr's Processes tab, I find the chrome.exe processes (from 2 to 5), right-click on the one consuming the most memory, and then left-click "end process" and then confirm to end.

Result? The Chrome processes are ended and the temp dir no longer shows any ETILQS files. Chrome is a fine browser, but someone at Google is slipping up ... they're usually more 'tidy' than this.

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