Windows 7 - Deleting *.tmp files and TEMP Folders

Asked By Youk on 29-Mar-07 12:10 AM
After running CCLeaner, I did a wildcard search of *.tmp, and was surprised
to find a large number of files that were missed during the CCleaner
cleanup-- files that were ID'd as TMP Files.

Several *.tmp file folders were also left behind during the CCleaner process.

Most of these files/folders were empty, but some were not.

Can these TMP files and *.tmp File Folders be safely deleted manually?
Or do I need to be selective about which files/folders are purged?

Similarly, when I ran a file search of TEMP, I uncovered several TEMP
Folders still residing within my C:\Documents and Settings, C:\Windows,
C:\Program Files , etc. directory paths that CCleaner missed.

Any advice/recommendations for handling these TEMP folders would also be

Will Denny replied on 29-Mar-07 01:07 AM

Reboot your system to make sure that those files are not being used.  Then
the *.tmp files can be deleted.


Will  Denny

MS MVP Shell/User
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Ken Blake, MVP replied on 29-Mar-07 11:53 AM
You can safely delete any *.tmp file. Each program should delete all its
temporary files when it closes, but for various reasons it doesn't always
happen (for example, if the program crashes, it never gets to do this).
That's why it's a good idea to periodically clean out anything left there.

Also note that there are some program installations which work in two steps.
The first step concludes by writing temporary files and rebooting. The
second step starts automatically after rebooting and needs to find those
files there (and then deletes them when it's done).

Other than doing it automatically when rebooting (that would interfere with
installations like the kind I described), it's always safe to delete the
contents of the temp folder. Because it's safe to delete any temp files that
aren't open and in use by an application, and since Windows won't let you
delete open files, it's safe to (try to) delete them at any time. If any
fail to delete because they're open, they'll either be deleted automatically
when the app using them closes, or you'll get them the next time you delete

Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
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Jim replied on 29-Mar-07 01:02 PM
You can safely delete any file whose extension is tmp or temp.  If these
files are actually in use, XP will not allow you to delete them.

Leave the TEMP folders alone.

Youk replied on 30-Mar-07 08:46 PM
Thanks to all for your input -- clear, concise and right-to-the-point

I was pretty certain from one of Ken's earlier posts that *.tmp files were
OK to delete, but I wanted to be certain.

Also, thanks to Jim for the clarification on NOT DELETING any TEMP Folders.
(I just assumed they were OK to delete, so I'm sure you've saved me some

Presumably, NO DELETE also applies to TMP Folders (e.g., msdownld.tmp) ???

Bottom line:
1)  *. tmp files are OK TO DELETE
2)   TEMP Folders and tmp Folders should be left alone

Thanks again!  I really appreciate the help.
Jim replied on 31-Mar-07 01:16 PM
Yes.  Just a clarification:  It is a waste of time to delete temporary
folders because the program that needs them can either create them or abort
with an error message.