Monday, 3 September 2018

Getting rid of temp files

If you want to have a really good dung out of old files, Windows is not that great at getting rid of temp - temporary - files. While temp files are not usually space hoggers, if you are like me and keep PCs running for years, we can build up an awful lot of dross in the system.

To clear out several locations of temp files all in one go, we can use Windows own Disk Cleanup Utility simply by going to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Cleanup. That is a good place to start. However, that is not going to get all temp files on our system.

Thanks to Autodesk (28 September 2017), all we have to do is to:
  • Exit all programs.
  • On the keyboard, hold down the WINDOWS key and then hit R.
  • In the Run window, type %TEMP% and then click OK.
  • Delete the contents of the folder that opens up.

Autodesk says that "There may be files in use by background processes, so not all files will delete. Rebooting might allow you to get them all" by repeating the process again on restart (28 September 2017). Autodesk also helpfully shows us where our temp files are stored (NB: ensure you have "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" selected under folder options, otherwise you won't see all the files):
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Temp
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
  • C:\Windows\Temp
  • C:\Temp
We can go into these folders and simply delete the files we find. I tend to delete all files from yesterday backwards (and you can simply use the tip here to get select the files you want to keep and those you want to delete).

Ah... there's nothing like a good clean up!


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