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Over time (meaning about a week or two), I get a ton of empty folders created in the C:\Users{PROFILE}\AppData\Local directory.

enter image description here

I can delete these with no adverse effects, as far as I can tell. But they always come back.
Can someone tell me what creates these and why?

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Sounds like installer files. – Ramhound Apr 9 '12 at 17:30
@Ramhound I don't install that much stuff. – AngryHacker Apr 9 '12 at 23:32

This issue is discussed at length here.

Here is an excerpt -

some of the Windows Live Essentials components are creating these folders. So far, it was confirmed that both WL Mail and WL Messenger could create them, but there may be other WL apps that do the same thing (again, as noted above.) Apparently, WL Mail (or other WL apps) create these folders whenever the program has not been run in a while. This generally results in one folder per day, but if enough time passes without the WL app being run (perhaps 12 or more hours), more than one of these folders can be created on the same day.

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That may very well be, but I do not use WL Mail or WL Messenger. I use Outlook/Gmail for email and Yahoo Messenger for IM. In fact, I can't think of a single Windows Live app that I've opened in the last several months. – AngryHacker Apr 9 '12 at 23:41

Those folders are created when the system needs a temporary space to store files while an installation (or update) is taking place.

They are just not deleted when the installation is complete.

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