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In a folder containing several PowerPoint Presentations and Spreadsheets, I discovered the following file:

Name:  ppt115.tmp
Size:  160 MB
Meta:  No EXIF or other metadata
Type:  (as identified by the cygwin / linux program 'file')
       Composite Document File V2 Document, No summary info


  • The filename does not correspond to other files in the directory.
  • Neither MS Power Point nor Excel can open the file.
  • MS Word will only attempt to recover text.

Please help me identify this file. Is it just a temporary file that I can safely remove?

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It LOOKS like a temporary file, but who knows. Try opening it under powerpoint maybe (ppt in the file name). – Xyon Nov 6 '12 at 16:39
@Xyon: It will not open in powerpoint, excel, or word. – Steven Nov 6 '12 at 16:46
Hmm. I would suggest taking a backup of it before deleting, or renaming rather than removing to see if anything breaks. MS Office can be a finniky beast. – Xyon Nov 6 '12 at 21:45

These tmp files are working files for Office. They are created for various reasons like autosave or when save is clicked while the document is still open to preserve revision information. Sometimes, I should say a lot of times, the temp files get left behind.

Sometimes they can not be removed because the files are in a location which all users do not have permission to delete files. Then sometimes they are left behind for no apparent reason. If they are no longer in use, you can remove them. Be careful if the directory is shared by others who might be working with a file open. Personally, I look at the date of the file to determine if it can go.

Although this article is specific to Word, it does a good job explaining about these temp files - Description of how Word creates temporary files.

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