A Beginner's Guide on TEMP Files

Written by John Harris, Updated on October 06, 2023

Temp files, also called temporary files or foo files, are those files with a .tmp extension and are most commonly created by the applications running on Windows OS. These files temporarily hold the data or information while the program creates the file. Once the program has been closed, these temporary files will be deleted automatically. They are typically used to help recover lost data when the program or computer is abnormally terminated.

Even though various programs create these files, all of them will share the same file extension (.tmp). Due to this, it is difficult to recognize which program created a specific temp file.

Temporary files can be created in various locations but are typically stored in the system temp folder. In Windows, the system temp folder is located at C:\Windows\Temp. In macOS, the system temp folder is located at /tmp.

When Temp files are created?

Temp files can be created in a variety of circumstances; however, a few of the primary instances are as follows:

  • When a computer application cannot allocate adequate memory to complete the tasks to be performed.
  • In cases where the program is working on data larger than the architecture's address space.
  • During the auto-save process and for software lock, cache, and backup files.

Advantages of Temp Files

Programs create temp files primarily for backup purposes. Most applications, such as Microsoft Office applications like Word , Excel , Spreadsheet, etc., will save a temporary version of a file every few minutes when the original file is open. This will help restore the files if the file is not saved and the program unexpectedly crashes, or the computer is shut down abruptly .

Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, create "Temporary Internet Files" to store user data, including cookies, images from visited Web pages, and the user's browsing history so that it is easier to load the pages when visited again.

Disadvantages of Temp Files

These temp files are generally deleted automatically when the program is closed normally. But if the program quits unexpectedly, the temp files will not be deleted. Sometimes, some temp files will be left behind even when a program is quit correctly. This might be due to programmer errors. These files can accumulate on your hard drive and occupy unnecessary disk space. This could reduce your system performance and slow down your PC. Hence, it is recommended to check and delete these Temp files regularly.

Are Temp Files Safe To Delete?

It is generally safe to delete temporary files to increase disk space, improve system performance, reduce system risks, etc. But it is important to be careful not to delete any important files. If you are unsure whether a file is safe to delete, it is best to leave it alone.

While deleting these temp files, you might mistakenly delete your important files. If you are curious about recovering deleted files on a PC, use Remo File Recovery Software , which is a perfect solution for data recovery.

How To Delete TEMP Files on Windows?

To delete temporary files in Windows, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type %temp% and press Enter.
  3. Press Ctrl + A to select all files.
  4. Press Delete to delete the files.

How To Delete TEMP Files on Mac?

To delete temporary files in macOS, you can follow these steps:

  • Open Finder.
  • In the sidebar, click Go > Go to Folder.
  • Type /tmp and press Enter.
  • Press Command + A to select all files.
  • Press Command + Delete keys to delete the Temp files on Mac.
  • It is important to note that deleting temporary files may cause some programs not to work properly. If you experience any problems after deleting temporary files, try restoring the files from the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (macOS). You can refer to these articles if you want to know how to recover deleted files on Windows and how to recover deleted files from Mac .

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