Windows XP Tip: Removing Temporary Files

If you have a large number of programs installed in your machine, it can get times when there is little space left on the hard disk to store your personal data. This is all more common nowadays, since we have large files with video, music, pictures, and lots of multimedia.

In these situations, it is always good to find safe ways to delete files that are not necessary. It is always better to delete temporary files than removing your personal content. Your personal content may be difficult or impossible to replicate, while temporary files are just there ocupying space, without a clear need.

Windows, by its very nature, creates lots of temporary files. For example, when installing applications Windows creates temporary copies of most files in the windows directory. It can make our lifes much more complicated, because then you don't know what are important files that cannot be removed and unimportant files that could very well be removed in order to conserve space in hard disk.

I once was running a personal program that would create lots of files, as it was processing a video. It was very discouraging to find that, after hours of processing, the hard disk was almost completely full. There was no space to store the remaining files that the program needed to create. I managed to remove temporary files, which where just enough to make my program work. Many situations like this happen all the time, hence the need to remove temporary files from time to time.

Finding temporary files

Temporary files are hidden in several places in a Windows machine. The most common is a directory named c:\temp, in the main hard drive. Windows programs like to create temporary files in places like that, and they never remove the temporary files.

Another place where you can free lots of space is the recycle bin. When Windows removes a file, it doesn't really delete all of it from memory. It puts the removed file in a temporary directory, known as the recycle bin. From there, the file can be ultimately deleted or simply restored, if necessary.

Try to empty the recycle bin by right clicking the recycle bin icon on the desktop. The option to empty the bin will be given in a menu. The number of files stored there will be quickly displayed. Very soon you will have a lot of additional space, depending on the type and number of files that you have been deleting.

What else can be done?

If you really need more space and this was not enough to satisfy your needs, you could consider the following additional steps:

  • Remove some programs from your hard drive. There is a lot of programs that we install (mainly from the Internet), and use only once or twice. Removing such programs may not only give you more space, but also simplify the management of your computer.
  • Move files to another disk: you could move many of your files, such as music and video, to a separate disk. This is an excellent solution since most video and mp3 files are only rarely used.
  • Move your files to an online storage system, such as Amazon S3. This way, you will also avoid losing files due to lack of backup.
Tags: files, removing, files, temporary, Windows, XP
Article created on 2012-07-15 21:45:59

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