How to Delete Temp Files XP

By Eli Laurens

Temporary files are created by Windows XP or third-party software to provide a temporary location for installation or system operation files. Often, the program that creates them will not delete them after use, and it might be necessary to delete them manually.

Removing Windows XP Temporary Files Manually

Step 1

Locate all files with a ".TMP" or ".TEMP" file extension. Begin by clicking on the "Start" menu, then "Search" and selecting "All Files and Folders" as the search location.

Step 2

Enter "*.TMP" into the text box, then search. Many files will appear on the right pane, and they can be highlighted and deleted at once. If some do not delete, reboot the computer and try again. Repeat this process for "*.TEMP" and delete these files as well, leaving the directories.

Step 3

Browse the directories' contents by double clicking on them and using the "Back" button to return to the search results. The contents of these directories can be deleted at the user's discretion, but in no instance should random files be removed if their purpose is unclear. Only delete ".TMP" and ".TEMP" file extensions.

Step 4

Delete the primary OS temporary file, the Windows XP virtual memory swap file. Go to "Start," then "Control Panel" and select "Classic View" on the left pane. Double click on the "System" icon and select the "Advanced" tab. Click on the "Performance Settings" button, then go to the "Advanced" tab. Click on the virtual memory "Change" button. For the C: drive, make the paging file a custom size and make that custom size a few bytes over the recommended size at the bottom. Click the "Set" button, then click "OK" to accept the changes.

Step 5

Reboot the computer after the paging file changes are accepted. This will establish a new Windows swap file and remove the old one.

Tips & Warnings

  • When in doubt, don't delete.
  • Removing the temporary files on an unstable or damaged operating system could make it unusable.