PC Doctor October 27, 2017

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Dear PC Doctor:

My computer’s hard drive, the C drive, has less than one gig of space left. It has 440 gigs total. I discovered over 8000 temp files” taking up 220 gigs’ worth of hard drive space. Why do I have so many temp files and can I delete them?

Sincerely,

Len

Dear Len:

According to PC Magazine, temp files can be created by an application for its own purposes. In the days of limited main memory, temporary files were the only way to store large amounts of interim data that the application was generating. Today, main memory is often used instead. Temporary files typically have a .TMP or .TEMP file extension, but any naming convention might be used. Typically, the application would delete its temporary files; however, these files might stay on disk if the computer crashed, or the program was not closed properly.

There are also temporary internet files. Your computer saves files from web pages you visit. The files are stored in a cache so that subsequent requests are retrieved from the local hard disk. When you request the same page again, a request is sent to the website for the date of the file. If the date is newer than the one stored locally, the page is downloaded. If it is the same, the page is read locally.

In general, it is safe to delete anything in your “temp” folder.

Until next time,
Happy Computing!

PC Doctor

Posted: to Athol Library News on Thu, Oct 26, 2017
Updated: Sat, Oct 28, 2017

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