We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to clean up the temp folder in Windows

Ensure unused files don't take up space on your PC

To keep your PC in good working order, it's important to ensure that any clutter and unused files are removed on a regular basis. This includes files in the temporary folder, as they were once necessary but are now not being used. You can either use a tool in Windows or do it manually. We show you how to do both.

Step one
In the Start menu, select the All Programs option and choose System Tools from the Accessories menu.

Step two
From here Select Disk Cleanup. The wizard will identify the files it thinks you can delete, also telling you how much hard-drive space it will free up.

Step three
From the list, untick the boxes to ensure just Temporary internet files is selected. Click 'Clean up system files'.

Step four
Alternatively, you can manually delete the files in the temp folder. Open the Start menu and in the search box type '%temp%' then press return.

Step five
You'll be presented with a list of files and folder that are stored in the temp folder. To delete them all, click on the first item, then hold down the Shift key and scroll to the bottom, clicking on the last item. Alternatively, press Organize, located at the top of the Window, and then press Select All. Then press delete and the files will be removed. If you want to delete only certain files or folders, press Ctrl and then click the one you want removed.

Step six
You'll be asked to confirm you want to delete the files. Press yes and then the files will be removed. It's worth noting, it you receive a pop-up that says Windows is unable to delete files, it's probably because they are currently being used. Simply close the programme the file is related to and press Try Again.

Step seven
Now open the Recycle Bin, located on the desktop, and press Empty recycle bin to ensure the files are permanently removed from your machine.

IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

Watch this heartwarming Christmas short by Trunk for composer John Rutter

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad