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How to clear your Temp folder (Windows XP)
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"Temporary" files are files generated by a specific task that are not needed once that task or process is complete.  Your Windows "Temp" folder is where these files are stored until Windows automatically deletes them at specified intervals.

During certain installation or troubleshooting procedures, it may be advantageous to manually clear out your Temp folder.  This guide will walk you through that process.

By definition, the files in your temp folder (the ones you are able to delete) are not critical or necessary files.  As you will see (below), it is not possible to delete temporary files that are currently in use, so there is no risk of accidentally deleting a file that is needed by any active applications or processes. 

To clear your Temp folder:

1. Open your Windows Start Menu (bottom left-hand corner of your screen) and select "Run...". 

2. In the Run dialog box that appears, type %temp% and click OK.  This command will open your Windows Temp folder.


3. Select all the files in this Temp folder window by pressing Ctrl – A (or click Select All from the Edit Menu).  The files will appear highlighted when they are selected.

* If you receive a message “This folder contains 1 hidden file . . .” click OK

4. Press the Delete Key on your keyboard (or select Delete from the File Menu) and click Yes to send these selected files to the Recycle Bin.

5. There will likely be a handful of temporary files that you will not be able to delete, this is normal and expected.  If you get an error message while deleting files, click OK.  If you are able to delete all files in your Temp folder without an error message, skip to step # 8.

6. Once you've clicked "OK" on a deletion error dialog, Windows will stop the process of moving files to the Recycle Bin.  To resume the process of deleting temporary files, you will need to de-select the file that Windows cannot delete.  To de-select the file named in the error dialog, hold down the Ctrl key on the computer’s keyboard and use the mouse to left-click on the first file in the list.

7. With the remaining files still selected, press Delete (or select Delete from the File Menu) again to resume deleting files.  Repeat this process of de-selecting files you cannot delete until you have removed all of the files that Windows will allow. 

8. Once all deletable files are removed, your temp folder is clear.  You can now close the Temp folder window and return to your installation or trouble-shooting procedures.