Most likely, most users have heard of so-called temporary files, many of them probably many years ago. It is also surely true that many of us do not know exactly what this is about, since we have always fought these temporary files with applications designed to do it automatically, with which we lost any opportunity to know what they are and why they are created. on our computer.
For this reason, in this post we will learn everything we need to know about temporary files on our computer, including the easiest steps to erase the temporary files that are created when we surf the Internet, those that create applications when we run them and all the others. types of temporary files, which in most cases are detrimental to the good performance of our PC.
Temporary files and slow PC
As we work on our computer, with the passage of time the operating system and programs become slower, and anything we do on the PC is a real torture, this situation can reach such a point that many in The first thing they think about is changing the computer for a more powerful one, when the solution is much simpler and cheaper.
In general, if it is a computer whose components are in perfect condition and its operating system works without failures, that is to say that it is a PC without problems, but even so it slows to the point of exasperation, the main cause of this Slowness on the PC occurs due to the accumulation of temporary files that are usually created automatically on the computer with your daily use. These files, which as their name indicate are temporary, are created by the system itself for various reasons.
Why are temporary files created?
The temporary files are created every time you install a new application and then uninstalled whenever we perform software updates every time you run different programs regardless of whether they have been improperly closed or closed properly, even when we clean the system with some antivirus or we reboot the system.
Theoretically, the temporary files left behind by all these processes should delete themselves at the end of the operation we were doing, but unfortunately, most of the time the automatic deletion of temporary files does not take place, resulting in a gigantic amount of these temporary files scattered throughout the computer, which will directly affect the performance of the RAM memory of our PC, causing a notable slowness even in the simplest processes.
At other times, it happens that the system deletes the content of the temporary files, but not the files themselves. Although these files report a length of 0 Kb, the truth is that by continuing to exist they will occupy space on our hard drive.
Other causes of the appearance of temporary files are usually programs called Malware, which when making contact with the system of our computer install temporary files that cannot be automatically eliminated by the system.
There is a large amount of Malware whose files with the .tmp extension significantly slow down our PC, and that mostly tend to be housed in five specific folders and subfolders : the “Internet Temporary” directory, in the “TEMP” subfolder of the Windows folder, directory Windows “PREFETCH”, “RECYCLER” from the disk containing the Windows folder, and the TEMP folder from the Local Settings folder in the Documents and Settings directory.
Is that temporary files not only harm the operating system, making it slower and causing a simple task to become uncomfortable to perform, but can also cause failures in the correct operation of different components, such as USB ports and other processes that we need them to work correctly to finish our task as easily and quickly as possible.
It is not surprising that the USB ports of our PC begin to report errors of reading and mounting of external devices, due to the bad influence of temporary files in the operating system.
What to do with the temporary files?
The most recommended thing, when our system is saturated with temporary files, that is, those with the “tmp” extension, is to perform a cleaning by removing these temporary files manually , even when there are various programs designed specifically for this function, such as CCleaner.
Although some applications use temporary folders to work and it is easier to delete the temporary files directly there, the truth is that after deleting the temporary files, when you run the program again, the program itself will create the folder again but in this time only with the data it requires to function, without redundant information.
It is evident that the elimination of temporary files is the most beneficial thing we can do for our computer, and that is why below these lines we can find several procedures to be able to eliminate all temporary files from the PC, including temporary Internet files .
How to delete temporary files?
If we are Windows users, surely with the passage of time we will notice that our computer will show slower, making the simplest processes become uncomfortable. As we mentioned earlier in this post, this problem is generally caused by the accumulation of temporary files on our PC’s system.
Although these files with a .tmp extension should be automatically eliminated by the operating system, the truth is that many times they are installed in different locations because the system is not able to eliminate them, which causes a slowdown in processes due to a higher consumption of RAM memory.
For our equipment to function properly again, the ideal is to delete temporary files manually, an operation that is recommended to be carried out at least once a month.
Here we show you how:
Start the Windows system in “Safe Mode” to avoid loading the drivers and possible temporary files on our PC.
Run Windows Explorer, and go to the Tools menu to select the Folder Options item.
Later go to the View tab and there to the Files and folders section, and then to Hidden files and folders, where you must activate the option “Show all hidden files and folders”.
In this instance, you can start with the cleaning, and you must eliminate the different hidden files that will appear in the different places where they have been located.
Temporary Internet Files
We will begin with the elimination of temporary Internet files, for which we will open the Windows “Settings” window, there we click on “Storage” and then click on the link “Free up space now”, which will take us directly to a new window in which we will find the option “Temporary Internet files”, as well as others.
This also allows us to make a little space on the hard disk by eliminating configurations and files that are no longer in use.
To properly clean temporary Internet files, it is also convenient to delete the History and accumulated cookies of the Internet browser that we are using by default, be it Edge, Chrome, Safari, Opera or another. If you want to know how to delete your browser history easily and quickly, all you have to do is click on this link.
With regard to cookies, they have information regarding passwords and keys that we use on different web pages, so we must be sure to remember these passwords before eliminating cookies.
Windows Temporary Files
It should be noted that the system’s .tmp files are located in the Temp subfolder of the “Windows” folder, for which we must go to Windows Explorer, where we will find various subfolders belonging to the Windows folder.
Once there, we must go to the “Temp” folder, where we will display the “Edit” menu and choose the “Select all” option and then select the “Delete” option.
Once these files have been eliminated, we will proceed to eliminate the temporary files that are located in the Windows “PREFETCH” subfolder. In this case we will use the same procedure that we carry out in the “TEMP” subfolder.
Temporary files in Documents and Settings
In order to delete the temporary files in the “Documents and Settings” folder, the “Show” hidden folders function must be activated. There we will find the folders belonging to each user, and we will go to the interior of the one that corresponds to us, where we will find a hidden folder with the name “Local Configuration”. It should be noted that it is recommended to perform this operation on all user folders.
Inside there is a subfolder called “Temp”, in which we will carry out the same steps that we have used to delete files in Windows temp files.
In this way, the temporary files have been eliminated, but we will still have to empty the Recycle Bin, in order for these files to be really deleted from the system.
However, it is not enough to empty the trash, since we will still have to delete the temporary files that may have been left in the folder called “RECYCLER”.
Temporary files in RECYCLER
It is a system folder, which is located in the root directory. To access it, we must first uncheck the option “Hide protected operating system files”.
In order for the files contained in the “RECYCLER” folder to be really deleted from the system and not sent to the trash, when we delete the temporary files we must hold down the key corresponding to capital letters.
In this way, the temporary files have been eliminated from our operating system, although many users usually complete this operation with a subsequent defragmentation of the hard disk , and a complete system cleaning with an antivirus.
When we have finished the operation, all that remains is to restart the system and start working almost like the first day of our computer.
Delete all temporary files at once
It should be noted that we can erase all Windows temporary files at the same time using the “Free up space” tool incorporated into the operating system itself, so we do not need to install external programs that often all they do is add more problems we have with the computer.
To delete all the temporary files at once, including thumbnails, Internet temps, trash, update files and so on, all we have to do is the following.
Click on “Windows Settings”, and then on “System”. Then click on “Storage”.
Once there, click on “Free up space now”.
We click on the checkbox of each item that we want to delete.
To finish, click on the “Remove files” button, which will delete all Windows temporary files in one go.