Temporary files


A

Alonso

Can someone advice how to deal with Temporary files on Windows 7? (temporary
files created during installation of programs, windows updates, cashed web
pages, etc). Should it be cleaned periodically? Should be removed windows
updates backup files also?
 
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B

Bob Henson

Can someone advice how to deal with Temporary files on Windows 7? (temporary
files created during installation of programs, windows updates, cashed web
pages, etc). Should it be cleaned periodically? Should be removed windows
updates backup files also?
Windows Disk Cleanup will get rid of a lot of them - depending what you
set it to do. Ccleaner will find some more. I clean them all out every
month or so.
 
C

Char Jackson

Can someone advice how to deal with Temporary files on Windows 7? (temporary
files created during installation of programs, windows updates, cashed web
pages, etc). Should it be cleaned periodically? Should be removed windows
updates backup files also?
My advice is to ignore such things. The average user has way more
drive space than they'll use in a lifetime, so space isn't an issue.
In general, there are no downsides to leaving that stuff alone.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Alonso.

Temporary files are meant to be...well, temporary. They are supposed to be
removed automatically by the program that creates them as soon as their job
is done. But, sometimes they aren't. Maybe the program was not written
well. Or maybe it was interrupted - by a system "hang" or by somebody
"pulling the plug" before it had a chance to clean up after itself.

No matter how it happened, temporary files are almost always useless within
24 hours of their creation and just taking up disk space. Some are meant to
survive a restart, to finish the job that was started before the shutdown,
so it's best not to be TOO hasty at removing them. And since some systems
use hibernate or sleep, rather than shutdown/restart each day, we can't be
sure that some temporary files are not still waiting for a power cycle.

If temporary files remain after a Disk Cleanup or after CCleaner (as Bob
recommended), have a look to see if you recognize any of them - you probably
will not, and you can delete them all.

Some settings will help keep temporary files to a minimum. For example, in
IE, I always use the setting in Tools | Internet Options | Advanced (under
Security) to Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed.

Windows update backup files are really a separate topic and I'll let someone
else address those.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Alonso" wrote in message
Can someone advice how to deal with Temporary files on Windows 7? (temporary
files created during installation of programs, windows updates, cashed web
pages, etc). Should it be cleaned periodically? Should be removed windows
updates backup files also?
 
K

Ken Blake

Can someone advice how to deal with Temporary files on Windows 7? (temporary
files created during installation of programs, windows updates, cashed web
pages, etc). Should it be cleaned periodically?

Yes, they can, and should be, deleted periodically.

The temp folder provides workspace for programs. Programs can create
temporary files there for their own temporary use. Each program should
delete all its temporary files when it closes, but for various reasons
it doesn't always happen (for example, if the program crashes, it
never gets to do this). That's why it's a good idea to periodically
clean out anything left there.

Also note that there are some program installations which work in two
steps. The first step concludes by writing temporary files and
rebooting. The second step starts automatically after rebooting and
needs to find those files there (and then deletes them when it's
done).

Other than doing it automatically when rebooting (that would interfere
with installations like the kind I described), it's always safe to
delete the contents of the temp folder. Because it's safe to delete
any temp files that aren't open and in use by an application, and
since Windows won't let you delete open files, it's safe to (try to)
delete them at any time. If any fail to delete because they're open,
they'll either be deleted automatically when the app using them
closes, or you'll get them the next time you delete manually.

Some people may suggest that you reboot before deleting anything, but
that's not necessary, for the reason described above (on the other
hand, it doesn't hurt to do it).


Should be removed windows
updates backup files also?

I'd leave all that alone.
 
B

Bob Henson

I'd be inclined to leave those, or certainly take further advice before
removing them. I'm sure there will be some information on the Internet
if you Google it.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Some people may suggest that you reboot before deleting anything, but
that's not necessary, for the reason described above (on the other
hand, it doesn't hurt to do it).
I think (or at least fear) that some of the temp files needed to
complete an installation are *not* locked, so I always reboot before
cleaning the temp files.

Which I do every seven years, it seems :)
 
T

Twayne

In
It's unlikely you'll ever need those uninstall flles, but you never know: I
back mine up to DVD and stash them aside, just in case, after a month or so.

I concur with the responses to ccleaner & disk cleanup.
 
K

Ken Blake

I think (or at least fear) that some of the temp files needed to
complete an installation are *not* locked, so I always reboot before
cleaning the temp files.

I've never run into this problem. But as I said, it doesn't hurt to do
it your way.
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

I've never run into this problem. But as I said, it doesn't hurt to do
it your way.
:)

I have a slogan, which I call Bloch's Lemma: "It's crazy not to be
paranoid".

I did notice your comment that it doesn't hurt to do it, and I'm more
than willing to believe that it's not necessary to do it, but...

Call it double-think :)
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Gene said:
:)

I have a slogan, which I call Bloch's Lemma: "It's crazy not to be
paranoid".

I did notice your comment that it doesn't hurt to do it, and I'm more
than willing to believe that it's not necessary to do it, but...

Call it double-think :)
I always reboot before housekeeping chores. Heck, I'm retired.
I can sit through a minute or two of cycle time.
 
A

Allen Drake

My advice is to ignore such things. The average user has way more
drive space than they'll use in a lifetime, so space isn't an issue.
In general, there are no downsides to leaving that stuff alone.
The fewer files the faster your AV gets the job done. Why scan
useless files that hang on for years?
 
A

Allen Drake

I always reboot before housekeeping chores. Heck, I'm retired.
I can sit through a minute or two of cycle time.
Isn't being retired all about recycling?
 
T

Twayne

In
Ken Blake said:
I've never run into this problem. But as I said, it
doesn't hurt to do it your way.
The only thng t will really do for you is minimize the number of open temp
files and is useful if you are trying to identify who made the temp file.
Rebooting may also close some of them as not all files close at the same
time, especially those with pieces in the buffers. It's just a way to
minimize the chaff that's around when you want to check out the held-open
files and want to be sure it's not someting mistakenly held open by the
current session on the computer.
Checking the dates on the temp files can also be interesting. Something
not used recently won't have a recent last used date.
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <j26cis$qge$1@dont-email.me>, Twayne
Checking the dates on the temp files can also be interesting. Something
not used recently won't have a recent last used date.
Unfortunately, the converse isn't true: something with a not-recent date
can have been used recently. Actually if you've access to - and trust -
a _used_ date, then that's probably OK.

Some installations involve in effect an unzipping operation, which can
create (unzip) files with _creation_ dates on them from years ago (or in
the future!), but still be used as part of the installation. As for the
_used_ date, I haven't really much experience with 7 yet, but under
previous OSs I've frequently seen files where the used date is illogical
(e. g. before the creation date), so I'm wary about trusting them.

The creation date on _folders_ I've not seen be incorrect, but that's
only any use if your installation happens to make folders, rather than
just dump its files in a generic temp area.
 
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A

Anthony Buckland

Can someone advice how to deal with Temporary files on Windows 7?
(temporary files created during installation of programs, windows
updates, cashed web pages, etc). Should it be cleaned periodically?
Should be removed windows updates backup files also?
Temporary files: in, say, Internet Explorer, click Tools, then Internet
Options, then Delete. This will get rid of other things hanging
around as well, such as wiping out your browsing history before your
partner discovers what gift ideas you've been looking at (and
unfortunately, in the hands of your offspring, before you find out
what porn they've been looking at).

Windows Update files: I wouldn't.
 

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