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How are the temp folders on Windows supposed to work? On my Vista PC I notice they simply get larger and larger. I presume I'd eventually just run out of space (I'm already getting low because of tens of gigabytes in my temp folder).

Why doesn't the system periodically clean them out automatically? How can I know what can be deleted from the various temp folders? Is it a bug for an application to leave something behind in the temp folder?

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If a program leaves garbage lying around, the program is at fault, not the OS. –  grawity Sep 6 '10 at 19:36
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I don't think that its a bug of OS to keep the temp files. It may be result of other installation or uninstall of softwares. Disk cleanup is the standard utility for doing the cleaning them from Microsoft side else you can use download this from CNET

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I'll approve this - but I don't agree that this isn't a defect in the OS. This kind of standard maintenance should be performed automatically. –  pauldoo Jan 4 '11 at 14:35
    
Disc Cleanup works quite well. Here's a KB site with description of how to automate Disc Cleanup support.microsoft.com/kb/253597/en-us –  user4085 Jan 17 '13 at 10:04
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you can use the Disk Cleanup tool which is included with Windows and accessed by right-clicking on the drive your version of Windows is installed, click on Properties and then launch "Disk Cleanup". With a bit of fiddling it's also possible to automate this tool, although it doesn't need to be run that often.

Alternatively tools like http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner work quite well.

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