How To Get Rid Of TEMP Files On Windows XP  

Posted by Maddi in

If you are reading this it means your computer is slow, you noticing your hard drive is getting smaller or you just plain want to get rid of temp files. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever the case may be, temp files are an annoying bunch of files that remain behind in your Pc or laptop even after you deleted the folder or program. Even disk clean up cannot get rid of them. Here it’s how to get rid of them once and for all.

The first thing you want to do is close ALL open programs, including any running in the background, like Messenger, your anti-virus program, or anything else.

Next we’re going to Click on the start button, then Search. Now in the dialog box, make sure where it says “what do you want to search for” pick files and folder option. Next window on the part where it says “look in” make sure it is looking at your C: drive (if you have other hard drives or partitions, be sure to select “All Local Drives”) Now make sure there is a check in the box next to where it says “include sub folders”. (This is in the “More Advanced Options” in XP. Also, in Windows XP you need to put checks in the boxes that say “Search hidden files and folders” and “Search system folders”.) Next were going to click your mouse pointer in the box that says “All or part of the file name and type the following, exactly as I have put it here.


That’s…….. asterisk period t m p comma asterisk period c h k comma tilde asterisk period asterisk …..Remember NO SPACES.

This is very important; The “tilde” which is the little squiggle above the Tab key on the left end of your keyboard…..DO NOT FORGET THE TILDE as ~*.* will find all files which begin with ~, but *.* but if you don’t add it XP would find all files on the drive and you DON’T want to do that!! To be sure you’ve got it right, just highlight and copy paste this —- *.tmp,*.chk,~*.* —-copy it and paste it in the search file name box.

It may take a while but once it finds all the files, there may be a long list depending on the last time you did this. At the bottom, it’s going to tell you how many TEMP files it found. In Windows XP, if it didn’t find any files, you need to go to My Computer, click on the Tools menu and choose Folder Options. Next you will click on the View tab and scroll thru that list to make sure the “Show hidden files and folders” is checked and that the “Hide protected operating system files” is NOT checked. Do this, and then try the search again.

Next you going to Hit ctrl+a to select them all, or select all from the edit button. Next hit your delete key. Chances are it won’t delete some of them, that’s because the files may be attached to a program running in the background. In that case you may have to delete them one at a time. You may have to select a few at a time until you are left with only the ones the current program is using. If one or two won’t delete, they may delete when you reboot. Remember Windows XP tends to hang onto temp files more than the earlier versions of windows, so you may run into a few that you can’t delete. At this point they may only be like 2 or 3 if that many. If you have more than that, then try doing it in SAFE MODE.

Typically most of all of these files and folders are safe to delete. Removing them can speed up your Pc or laptop and help you regain space. It may even get rid of a problems your Pc or laptop may be having. Of course some people will naturally be concerned about deleting these files. I was one of them when I did this to my Pc and laptop. If that is the case then you can simply leave the files you deleted in your recycle bin for a few days until you are sure everything is working properly. In the event you have a problem, you can always restore the files from the recycle bin… But I am sure in a few days you will be going into your recycle bin to permanently delete them all.

Remember, if you are unsure of the files; just leave them in the recycle bin for a few days. It’s what I always do. That way you can be safe. Hope this helps.


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