Windows 11 may be a lot different than Windows 10 in many aspects, but some things are still the same. The existence of temp files, for starters. Windows 11 may boost upgraded performance over its predecessor, but performing some tasks still falls upon our shoulders. Taking care of temp files is one such task.
What is the Temp Folder
There are many temporary files on your system. These files range from error logs and data, launch configurations, browsing data, application data, windows updates, installation files, and cached data, to name a few. Your computer caches certain data to reduce loading time and provide you with a smoother experience. This cached data goes to the Temp folder.
The size of the folder varies for all users depending on various factors. But as a thumb rule, the longer you’ve had your Operating system installed and the more applications you have, the bigger the size.
Here’s a list of the type of files the temp folder houses.
- Windows Upgrade Log Files
- Recycle Bin
- Previous Windows Installations
- Windows Update Cleanup
- Windows ESD Installation Files
- Temporary Files
- Temporary Internet Files
- Device Driver Packages
- Microsoft Defender Antivirus
As you can see, there are all sorts of files. From downloads and thumbnails to temporary internet files, the temp folder accumulates files even as you browse the internet. Then, there are the temporary files various apps need for smooth functioning.
Can you delete the Temp Folder?
You should never tamper with the Temp folder in itself. But the files the folder has are a completely different matter. Even though the computer uses those files during certain tasks, they are, in no sense of the word, critical to your computer’s functioning.
Some of these files should have been cleaned up a long time ago, as a matter of fact. Many apps on our system do a poor job of cleaning up the temp folder after they’re done with the temp files. Sometimes, even after you’ve uninstalled the app, you’re left with its temp files to deal with.
Thus, it’s imperative that we delete these files from time to time to prevent them from hogging up too much space. They can also generally slow down your computer. So, while the folder itself is off-limits, the content in it can and should be deleted periodically.
If you want to get an idea of the space the temp folder is hogging, open the Settings app on Windows 11. You can either open it from the Start menu or by using the keyboard shortcut Windows logo key + i.
Then, while you’re on the ‘System’ option in the navigation menu on the left, go to ‘Storage’ from the right.
Wait for the stats to load and you’ll be able to see the total space ‘Temporary files’ are occupying.
Now, that you know, let’s get on to the matter of actually finding this folder in Windows 11.
Accessing the Temp Folder
The location of the temp folder is pretty straightforward. You can find it at the following address:
You can either navigate to the above address manually. Or you can open the File Explorer; use the keyboard shortcut Windows logo key + E to open it. Then, paste the above address – after replacing the generic <YourUserName> with the actual user name on your computer – in the address bar.
The Temp folder will open, showing you the files in it. You can select all these files; use Ctrl + A to select them. And then, press the delete button.
You can also use the Windows Run program to access the Temp Folder. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows logo key + R to open the Run window. Then, type
%temp% in the textbox and press the enter key. The temp folder will open.
Delete the Temp Files from Settings
There are many other ways to delete the temp files on the PC that doesn’t involve opening the temp folder in the first place. If you’re afraid you might accidentally delete something you’re not supposed to, you can use this alternative. It’s one of the quickest and easiest methods out there, other than deleting the contents of the folder itself.
Remember the option we used to check the actual space the temporary files were hogging? You can also delete them from there. Open the ‘Storage’ options from the System settings. Then, once the stats load, click the ‘Temporary Files’ option.
Select the files that you want to delete. Windows will automatically select some files for you while leaving others unchecked. Review this choice. The total space you’ll be freeing up by deleting the files you have selected will be mentioned on the right.
Click the ‘Remove files’ button.
Use Storage Sense to Automate the Task
If you find that manually deleting the temp files every few weeks or months is too much of an annoyance, you can use Storage Sense to do it for you. Although the default configuration for Storage Sense is to run when disk space is low, you can configure it to run at certain intervals instead.
From the Storage setting screen, scroll down and click the option for ‘Storage Sense’.
Turn on the toggle for ‘Automatic User content cleanup’. You can also first enable the toggle for ‘Storage Sense’ and then click it to configure the rest of the settings.
Then, configure the rest of the settings. First, select how often you want it to run. The options include ‘Every day’, ‘Every week’, and ‘Every month’.
Then, decide how often you want Storage Sense to delete files from the Recycle Bin and whether you want it to delete the files from the Download folder. If you want to, then select the interval accordingly.
Storage Sense will run as per your scheduling configuration. If you want, you can also click the ‘Run Storage Sense’ button at the bottom to run it right then.
Cleaning out the temp folder periodically can make a great difference to the running of your computer. Now that you know how to access it, you can do it without any trouble.