[Windows Guide] How to Access Temp Files in Windows 10

[Windows Guide] How to Access Temp Files in Windows 10

/ Sed Galope

Temporary files are created by the operating system or applications that serve as a buffer or a cache to improve system performance. These files are typically deleted automatically when they are no longer needed. However, accessing temporary files in Windows 10 can be useful, such as when troubleshooting issues with an application or trying to recover a lost document.

This article will explore various ways to access temporary files in Windows 10 and how to manage them safely. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, this guide will help you to locate and access temporary files on your Windows 10 computer.

Uses of Temp Files

  • Troubleshooting: Accessing temporary files in Windows 10 can be helpful when troubleshooting issues with an application. Temporary files can provide clues about what went wrong and help you to find a solution. For example, if an application crashes, you can check its temporary files to see if there is any error message or log file that can help you to diagnose the problem.
  • Recovery: In some cases, temporary files can recover a lost or unsaved document. For instance, if you were working on a Word document and your computer crashed before saving it, you may find a temporary file containing some or all of your work.
  • Disk Space: Accessing and deleting unnecessary temporary files can free up disk space on your computer. This can help to improve system performance and reduce the likelihood of running out of storage space.

What You Should Know About Accessing Temp Files Windows 10

The majority of Windows temporary files are typically located in a Temp folder. However, the precise location of this folder may vary depending on the specific computer and user. Generally, temporary files in Windows 10 are stored in one of the following locations: %systemdrive%\Windows\Temp or %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Temp.

If you attempt to access the C:\Windows\Temp folder, you may receive an error message stating that you do not have permission to view the contents. To gain access to this folder, you can click “Continue” to permanently obtain permission.

Alternatively, you can navigate to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp to locate and access the temporary files in Windows 10. If the Temp folder is not visible, it may be hidden. In this case, you can reveal the folder by enabling the display of hidden files in Windows 10.

Access Temporary Files in Windows 10 Via Start

The built-in Windows Search function is a simple method to access temporary files in Windows 10. To initiate this process,

1. Click on the Start menu, the search box, or the Cortana icon, or use the keyboard shortcut Windows + S to launch Windows Search.

2. Enter “%temp%” into the search bar and select “Open” to immediately access the Windows Temp folder.

search temp files

Show Hidden Files or Folders

Here are step-by-step instructions for enabling the display of hidden folders and accessing the Temp folder in Windows 10:

1. Start by opening Windows Search. You can do this by clicking on the Start menu, pressing the Windows key, and then typing “Windows Search” into the search bar.

search file explorer options

2. Click on the “File Explorer Options” entry in the search results. This will open the File Explorer Options window.

3. In the File Explorer Options window, click on the “View” tab.

view tab in file explorer options

4. Locate the “Hidden files and folders” section. Under this section, click the option to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.”

show hidden files

5. Click the “OK” button to apply the changes.

6. Open File Explorer by clicking its icon or pressing the Windows key + E.

7. In File Explorer, double-click on your Windows hard drive (usually labeled as (C:)) to open it.

this pc local disk

8. Find and open the “Users” folder.

9. Open the folder with your username. For example, if your username is “John,” open the “John” folder.

10. Look for a faded/transparent folder named “AppData” and open it.

go to appdata folder

11. Open the “Local” folder.

12. From here, you should be able to find and open the “Temp” folder, where you can view and manage temporary files in Windows 10.

go to the temp folder

That’s it! With hidden folders now visible, you can easily access the Temp folder and manage temporary files on your Windows 10 computer.

Deleting Temporary Files on Windows 10

If you need to clear up space on your Windows 10 device by deleting temporary files, there are a few ways.

Use Disk Cleanup

To delete temporary files on your Windows 10 device, you can use the Disk Cleanup built-in program. This program allows you to remove unnecessary files, including temporary files, easily. To access Disk Cleanup, search for it in the Windows Search bar. Once you’ve found it, click on the app to launch it. When the Disk Cleanup for Windows (C:) window appears, select the types of temporary files you want to delete by checking the appropriate boxes. Then, click “OK” to confirm your selection. A pop-up message will appear asking you to confirm that you want to delete the selected files. To complete the process, click “Delete Files.” The system will then begin deleting the selected temporary files.

Delete Temp Files From the Settings App

To access Settings, click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner of the desktop to open the Start menu, then click the gear icon. Alternatively, you can press the Windows key + I on your keyboard.

After opening Settings, click on the “System” option. From there, click on “Storage” located in the left-hand pane. Once there, click on “Temporary Files” under the Windows (C:) group. A list of temporary files will appear, and you can select the ones you want to delete by checking the box next to each file. Finally, click “Remove Files,” and Windows 10 will begin deleting your selected temporary files.

Manually Delete Temp Files

To delete temp files in File Explorer, you can use a shortcut by opening the Run app with Windows + R, then typing %temp% in the text box and pressing “OK” or Enter. This will open the Temp folder in File Explorer. Select the Windows temp files you want to delete by pressing Ctrl+A or individually clicking on each file while holding down the Ctrl key. Right-click on any selected files and choose “Delete” from the context menu. Windows will then start deleting the selected temp files.

While deleting temp files can help free up storage space and improve PC performance, if you’re still experiencing slow performance, clearing your PC’s cache may also be helpful.

Automatically Delete Temporary Files

Microsoft added a new feature in Storage sense with the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709). This feature automatically deletes files from the Downloads folder or temporary files not being used. By default, this feature is turned off. When turned on, the feature will delete unchanged and temporary files from the Downloads folder or Recycle Bin after 30 days.

To enable the automatic deletion of temporary files in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to System > Storage.
  2. In the Storage Sense section, toggle the Storage Sense feature to the “on” position.
  3. Click on the “Change how we free up space” link, but ensure you have already turned on the Storage Sense feature in Step 2.
  4. Enable the “Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using” option.

Mastering Temporary Files Management in Windows 10

In conclusion, learning how to delete temporary files on Windows 10 can be useful for optimizing computer performance and freeing up storage space. The process is relatively simple, whether using Disk Cleanup, the Settings app, or File Explorer. This experience has also highlighted the importance of regularly maintaining our devices to ensure optimal performance.

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.