Get Rid of Temp Files in Windows

Temporary files are created by many different applications in the Windows operating system. These files build up over time and they can consume a massive amount of disk space. I have seen systems with over 40% of the disk being consumed by temp files. A quick cleanup of these files not only frees up plenty of space, but it makes disk defragmentation much quicker. After defragging the disk access is quicker and the overall system is better.

There are two main sources of temp files. Applications and web browsers. Most programs will store temp files somewhere on your system. If you don't frequently remove these temp files, they will just consume more and more space. Web browsers store web pages, videos, images and other objects from your browsing. This can be another source of wasted space and if you have privacy concerns it will also reveal your browsing history and every file you have viewed.

To get rid of temporary files in Windows is pretty simple, just fire up the disk cleanup utility. Right-click on one of your hard drives and select "properties". Then under the "General" tab, click on "Disk Cleanup".

disk cleanup

You will now see the following prompt, which gives options for removing files from various locations. You can quicly cleanup things like downloaded files, recycle bin, offline webpages and plenty more. You can play around with the settings and it will give you an estimate of how much space you can save.

cleanup your disk in windows

If you just wish to delete web browsing files and history, you can do this directly from the browser. Just click on Tools -> Options. This may vary from browser to browser, but you will then get a prompt with options to delete browsing history and other files.

Remember to run a defrag if you have cleared out a lot of files and disk space.