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Can I remove all existing files in my 'temp' folder immediately upon re-boot? Or are some of them important?

My belief is that one can remove any temporary files older than a day, but I am not sure.

System: Windows XP SP3

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Possible duplicate: superuser.com/questions/148279/moving-temp-folder-location (not about deleting temp files, but moving the folder - pretty much the same thing) –  Hello71 Jul 29 '10 at 2:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Temp files are OK being deleted as long as they aren't in use. Programs can't expect that any files they drop into temp will be there after the program closes/releases the lock it has on the file(s).

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Unfortunately, there is no authoritative answer to this question. The %TEMP% directory is just a directory like any other. Any program can write files there for any reason. It's possible that some program out there writes files to %TEMP%, and then expects them to stick around. Granted, this would be poor behavior, but it's not impossible.

The only way to know if this is safe on your system is to try it and see what happens. There are certain files on my system that I will probably never delete, because I don't want to take any chances. You also need to ask yourself how much disk space you are really going to re-gain by doing this.

Personally I would start by looking at the file size and the "last modified" time. If you see some really big files that haven't been touched in a while, then you might want to take a chance and delete them.

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Temp = temporary = not system related or needed across reboots, so yes you can delete them upon reboot.

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