The Windows operating system as well as applications and services that run on the system occasionally need to store information in temporary ﬁles in various locations on the hard disk. In most cases, the system will remove temporary ﬁles after use, but if too many temporary ﬁles remain on the disk, they can take up space and slow performance. You should occasionally remove old temporary ﬁles if they exist.
Figure: Temporary file storage.
Temporary File Storage Locations
Temporary ﬁles often have an extension of *.tmp or *.temp. Windows may store temporary ﬁles in a folder called \Temp or \Tmp in a variety of locations, such as the \Windows folder or the user’s proﬁle folder. The location is determined by the value of the Path variable in the system’s environment variables. You can access the environment variables from the Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog box. Applications can have their own temporary ﬁle storage locations. For example, the Internet Explorer®web browser application stores cached copies of downloaded web ﬁles in a Temporary Internet Files folder. This helps web pages load faster. Files in the Temporary Internet Files folder usually have a functional extension such as .htm or .gif.
Procedure : Clean Up Temporary Files
To use Disk Cleanup to clean up a hard disk:
1. Run Disk Cleanup.
- From the Start menu, choose Control Panel, and click System and Security or Performance and Maintenance.
- Under Administrative Tools or Pick a task, click Free up disk space or Free up space on your hard disk.
2. Choose an option based on whether you want to clean all the ﬁles on the computer or ﬁles in your account alone.
3. If you have multiple drives, select the drive you want to clean up and click OK.
4. On the Disk Cleanup tab, check the check boxes for any categories of ﬁles that you want to clean up. Disk Cleanup displays the number of bytes in the category; if you want to see the actual ﬁles you will be deleting, click View Files.
5. Click OK to perform the Disk Cleanup steps.
6. Click Delete Files to conﬁrm.
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