Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

my disk cleanup seems unable to delete lotsa megs worth of "temporary files" that it sees, even after I went and deleted contents of various temp folders I found myself. I would like to try delete such files manually, but for this I need to figure out just where are those "temporary files" that Disk Cleanup is detecting and offering to delete.

Any suggestions? What folders does Disk Cleanup examine to tally up the temporary files?

share|improve this question
Why do you want to delete temporary files manually ? Are you saying that you have so much temporary files that disk cleanup cannot cope and leaves a certain volume behind ? –  Simon Dec 1 '12 at 22:07

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The "Temporary Files" folder that Disk Cleanup is referring to is the one pointed to by the environment variable %TEMP%. You can go directly to this folder by typing %TEMP% in the Run box or in the address bar in Windows Explorer.

Disk Cleanup's list of "places to cleanup" is stored in the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches. The Temporary Files item is in a key named, unsurprisingly, Temporary Files.

share|improve this answer
The TEMP and TMP environment variables point to the current user's temp file directory only. –  kreemoweet Jun 28 '14 at 17:47
There are system environment variables for TEMP and TMP also. A program can ask for the system variables instead of the user variables. –  Patrick S. Jun 30 '14 at 0:24

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.