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There's this folder on WinXP: C:\Documents and Settings[admin name]\Local Settings\Temp

It's used for temporary files.

The question is: how is this folder populated?? What types of software (does OS do it?) puts its temp files there?

And What is the purpose of temporary files? How does software use them?

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This folder contains files that are used by applications during run-time or installation. You can usually safely delete all the contents of the folder (but NOT the folder itself), just close all running applications, so you don't delete the files that are currently used.

Applications use temporary files to store information, that is used in the current execution (they are deleted after the application closes, but not always).

Also, there are sometimes some files that couldn't be deleted. Just skip them during deletion.

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