How to Delete Files in a Temp Folder

By Melody Fuller

The Temp folder is the place where information used by programs is kept until the information is no longer necessary. For instance, when a program is installed, information is created in the temp folder to help with the installation. Once the installation is complete, the information in the temp folder is deleted when the computer gets restarted. Sometimes the programs that create information in the temp folder don't delete it, which allows bits and pieces of files to pile up and take up space. To avoid having temp files clog up your computer, clean the temp folder manually in a few simple steps.

Windows Vista

Step 1

Click the "Start" button. In the search bar, type "%temp" and press "Enter." This command will take you to the Temp folder.

Step 2

Right-click an empty space in the folder, run your mouse pointer over "View" and select "Details."

Step 3

Click on "Date modified" so that the dates the files were created appear in descending order, with the most recent dates at the top.

Step 4

Select all files that were created after the last time you shut down your computer and drag them to the Recycle Bin.

Step 5

Right-click on the Recycle Bin and click on "Empty Recycle Bin" to delete the files from the Temp folder.

Windows XP

Step 1

Click on "Start" and select "My Computer."

Step 2

Click on the hard drive, which is normally the "(C:)" drive.

Step 3

Click on the "Windows" system folder.

Step 4

Click on the "Temp" folder to open it and view the files.

Step 5

Click on "View" on the toolbar at the top of the screen and modify the items so that the details are shown (click on "Details") and then sort them in order by the date on which the most recent files were created (click on "Date Modified").

Step 6

Select all files that were created after the last time you shut down your computer and drag them to the Recycle Bin.

Step 7

Right-click on the Recycle Bin and click on "Empty Recycle Bin" to delete the files from the Temp folder.