When browsing your computer’s storage drive, you may come across temp files. All operating systems create temp files automatically. They are typically found in a special folder known as the temp folder. What are temp files exactly, and should you delete them?

Overview of Temp Files

Also known as foo files, temp files are temporary files that are created automatically to improve the performance of programs. Both operating systems as well the programs themselves create temp files. When you install a new program or modify an existing program, new temp files may be created. These temp files may contain custom data, such as the program’s settings or your accounts with the program, that improve the program’s performance.

Where to Find Temp Files

Assuming you have a Windows PC, you can typically find temp files in the temp directory. The temp directory lives up to its namesake by serving as the home to temp files. When Windows creates temp files, it will typically store them in this directory. You can browse your computer’s temp directory to find its temp files.

Keeping or Deleting Temp Files: What You Should Know

Now for the million-dollar question: Should you keep or delete temp files? Temp files aren’t useless files; they contain data that can improve the performance of programs. If you customize the settings of a program, for instance, these changes may be saved in a temp file. Deleting the temp file means that you’ll lose the customized settings, in which case you’ll have to reset the settings. Nonetheless, allowing temp files to go unchecked is generally a bad idea.

Too many temp files can consume valuable storage space. By default, temp files aren’t automatically deleted. They are automatically created, but neither operating systems nor programs delete them automatically. As a result, they can accumulate over time while taking up valuable space on your computer’s storage drive.

If you’re running low on storage space, you should consider deleting the temp files. You can either delete some or all of the temp files. Deleting them will free up space that you can use for other files and data.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to delete temp files while the respective program is still running. If you’re trying to delete a program’s temp files, you may need to close the program beforehand. Some programs lock their temp files while running, meaning you can’t delete the temp files unless the program is closed.