Temporary files are those file which last for only a fixed period of time. They are created by the currently running programs or applications for the purpose of maintaining a backup of the data. This backup is stored in non-permanent files called temporary or temp files.
In case of a System crash, the function performed by an application gets aborted abruptly and it may lose all the progress. To prevent such losses, the programs create a temp file for the data. When the system recovers from the crash, these temp files provide the saved data to the application so that the process can be resumed from the same point, instead of restarting again right from the beginning.
But why are these files temporary? This is because they become useless after the completion of the task. When the application has finished and saved the original data, there is no need for the backup anymore.
Temporary files do rescue the programs from the crash, but they can also slow down your system and hinder the efficiency. In most of the cases, a program itself deletes all its temp files after the successful completion of the task. But if the ongoing program is disturbed, it may not remove the temp files. At a point of time, these needless temporary files occupy a good amount of memory resulting in Low Disk Space.
To avoid this situation and speed-up your system, you must delete the temporary files regularly. You can use the Disk Cleanup tool to get rid of the temp files.
Steps to Delete Temporary Files in Windows 10
Step 1: Type Disk Cleanup in the search box provided on the taskbar and click on it from the list of results to open it.
This will open a dialog box for selecting the drive for which you want to run Disk Cleanup.
Step 2: Select the drive which contains the Windows Installation because all the temp files reside in this drive. Click OK.
As you click on the OK button, the Disk Cleanup goes through the files and figures out the amount of memory that could be released by deleting the temp files.
After the scanning is done, the disk cleanup window appears. It tells you the total amount of space that you can free up. It contains a list of temp files, out of which you have to select the files which you are willing to delete.
Step 3: Check the files which are to be deleted & click on OK.
If you are not aware of which file is to be deleted, you can read the description of the file by clicking on it. Information about the contents of the file will be displayed to you. Always be careful while selecting what to delete.
After the selection of the files, you can also see the total amount of disk space you will gain after cleanup.
Step 4: Click on Delete files to confirm you want to permanently delete the data.
That’s it! As you confirm, the temp files will be deleted from the system successfully.
You can also open the disk cleanup for deleting the temp files by following the steps given below:
Step 1: Open This PC.
Step 2: Right-click on the drive with Windows Installation and then select Properties.
Step 3: Click on Disk Cleanup.
You will be taken to the Disk Cleanup Window. The further process is same as the previous one from Step 3.
Old School method for deleting temp files
You must have used this method in older versions of Windows where you would have manually delete the temporary files from the temp folder.
However, in this method, you will come across two types of temp folders. One of this folder is opened by entering temp in windows run whereas another one by %temp%.
Let us see the difference between temp and %temp%
- When you open the temp folder by typing temp in windows Run, you reach C:\Windows\Temp.
- This folder holds those temporary files regarding the Windows Operating System.
- These files are created when enough of memory is not allocated to a process.
Deleting the files with temp:
Step 1: Press ‘Windows key + R‘ or type Run in the search box present on the Taskbar.
This will open the Run tool which opens any file or folder you enter.
Step 2: Enter temp in the box and click OK.
Step 3: Select all the files and folder and press delete.
- As you type %temp% in the windows run, the folder C:\Users\TS7\AppData\Local\Temp is opened.
- This folder contains the temp files related to apps and programs which are created for individual users.
Deleting the files with %temp%:
Step 1: Open the Windows Run tool, type %temp% & click on the OK button.
Step 2: Delete all the files from the folder to release the memory.
In this way, you can easily delete the temporary files and speed up your system.