Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Is there an automatic temp files clean-out process in Windows 7?

17 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit
Is there an automatic temp files clean-out process in Windows 7?

Is there an automatic temp files clean-out process in Windows 7?

Every once in a while I noticed that my hard drive is somehow automatically purged of about 30 gigs of data, so all of a sudden I have roughly 30 gigabytes more hard drive space available that the last time I checked, but I haven't trashed any files.

I'm wondering if there is some kind of automatic temp files clean-out process that Windows 7 goes through at certain times.

Or could this be related to an automatic disk defragmentation? My defragmentation is set to run once a week, but I've only seen the 30 gigs or so open up about three or four times in the last year.

And if there is a process by which Windows 7 automatically "cleans house" to open up this much hard drive space, is there a way to do it manually without throwing away any of my normal files?

Thanks for any input,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2011   #2
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

30GB is an unreal ammount to be free'd by any cleaning software, especially when your drive is only 160GB (unless you have upgraded it)!

Windows built in tool "disk cleanup" can be scheduled but for it to be fully automated you have to manually create a settings string in the registry and add the command switch to the scheduled run.

I cant think of any 3rd party software that will do this without prompting or again being preconfigured to require no user action.

Defrag may improve the free space report "slightly" although it doesnt actually create any free space, just consolidates it into the largest continious number of blocks it can.

I am often asked to "clean out" peoples computers, and in general if I run Disk Cleanup (including uninstall information for updates), anti-malware sweeps, Ccleaner, empty the recyle bin, remove bloatware, set a fixed page file, disable hibernation and the hiberfil.sys remove all except the most recent restore point, rebuild the prefetch and run a defrag. I'd rarely free over 15GB usually more like 7-10GB.

I'm curious as to where your 30GB have come from! I hope some of the Guru's find this post as I will be following!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit

Hi Sub Styler,

I checked Disk Cleanup and among a few other much smaller space eaters, I found 21.1 gigs being eaten by "Temporary" files. But my normal "Temp" folder only has 9.8 gigs in it... this one is a User>AppData>Local>Temp... so I guess there is another temp folder. I've read that there is a second, possibly invisible "Temporary" folder.

Put together, these two Temp files folders equal approximately the 30 gigs that this computer occasionally purges by itself somehow.

The Disk Cleanup interface doesn't show the path to this "Temporary" folder that it is referring to when I click on it, nor does it have the "View Files" button like the other categories in the Disk Cleanup interface.

So I'm running the Disk Cleanup process. Right now it seems to be sort of lingering or stuck on "Cleaning: Service Pack Backup Files"... I'll see how it goes.

But the Disk Cleanup interface says, "You can safely delete Temporary files that have not been modified in over a week". But I don't know which files it is deleting nor do I know which ones haven't been modified in over a week... and there is no way to discern where these files are to figure out which ones are older than a week. As I said, this is apparently a different Temp files folder than the one that I find at User>AppData>Local>Temp


My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Sep 2011   #4
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

looked at some of your older posts and all the graphic editors you use will be responsible for most of this temporary data, not being too familiar with this sort of thing you may be better asking one of the GFX team? Do you have a 30GB scratch file in photoshop or something? Just a thought.....

In general you can delete temp files created in the last few minutes, unless you have installed something and not restarted or have pending updates for windows or other software that uses automatic updates. After a reboot (or 2 if you're paranoid) why would those temp files be needed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2011   #5

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit

Well, it cleared 15 gigs... that's not quite the 21.1 gigs plus the misc smaller chunks that the Disk Cleanup said it would open (nor the 30 gigs that I've seen purged by itself a few times in the last year)... but it's still pretty good.

I can see that my Temp folder at User>AppData>Local>Temp is virtually empty now.

Do you know where this second Temporary folder is?... or was the Disk Cleanup panel just referring to the one that I have at User>AppData>Local>Temp.

Maybe Disk Cleanup said it had 21.1 gigs when the system only showed that it had 9.8 gigs via the normal directory info, but then somehow it opened about 15 gigs when the actual Disk Cleanup process was run... but the other smaller chunks removed in other areas didn't nearly equal 5 gigs... only about 800 megs.

I dunno... anyway, thanks.

I've never manually deleted temp files before, so this is my first experience getting in to Disk Cleanup, though I have everything else set to run automatically, like defragment, malware sweeps, antivirus, etc.

Since I've never deleted temp files before, and that's what my post is basically asking about, asking me why they would be needed is a bit pointless, right? You tell me, why are they needed?... is one supposed to manually delete temp files after every restart in Windows 7?

Someone else has referred me to a page about setting up automatic Disk Cleanups via the Command Line... here's that link...
How to configure automatic Disk Cleanup in Windows 7

I know there are allot of funky things that happen in Windows when left at default settings. I had a prior experience where I finally investigated what seemed to be a constant drain on my processor, always running at about 75 percent according to two different desktop CPU usage gadgets. I discovered that some Windows Media Player network sharing service was constantly running my processor at 75 percent, never stopping until I figured it out and turned it off... then it came back after the next restart and I had to disable it completely.

That WMP network sharing service was completely useless and performing no service for me (completely indescribable by Microsoft forums people), yet it was set to put a constant 75 percent drain on the processor, 24 hours a day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2011   #6
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

There are lots of temp folders, often more than the windows disk cleanup knows about.

User\AppData\Local\Temp (as you noted)User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
Often C:\Temp is there aswell.
sometimes C:\windows\tmp (although I havent seen this since XP)

No you dont need to clear your temp folders after each boot, they usually contain log files, uncompressed install data, components for projects you have been working on and other junk once a month should be good.

You also dont need to defragment weekly either unless you do a lot of installing and uninstalling and moving files and folders around. Infact I would advise against weekly defrags as you are spanking your hard drive into early retirement.

Yes that guide is very detailed!

I heard of that WMP service constantly searching for dicoverable devices and causing that problem. Although that is one of the services i disable at firstboot anyway so i havent suffered from it.

Still dont know how that other 30GB became available though, any leads?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2011   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Ways to easily clean out temp files:
1. Use CCleaner (link in my sig)
2. | type %temp% | ENTER | CTRL + A | CTRL + D | you may find a couple of files that can't be deleted. This is normal.
3. Run TFC Geekstogo - TFC Temp File Cleaner
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2011   #8

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit

Hello Sub Styler and karlsnooks,

@Sub Styler, is running the system defrag app hard on the hard drive?... I've never heard about that, but I've never read-up on this topic either. Is it harder on the hard drive than any other everyday function like running an anti-malware scan or rendering a video?... if so, how?

And no I haven't found what was going on in the past when four times in the last year my hard drive automatically purged itself of 30 gigs... that's one of the things that I was inquiring about... I haven't figured out how to ask a self answering question yet, but when I do I'll let you know. + ∞ = ;^)

@karlsnooks, thanks for the refs, but I'm not inclined to install one thing in order to remove another... I guess that's what "Disk Cleanup" is for and it's built in to the system. And there is no link that appears in your signature on my page here.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2011   #9

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

Just a note in passing.

30 gigs is about the size of a backup and if you are using backup and your drive is running out of space windows will delete the oldest backup to make room.

Good Luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2011   #10

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit

Thanks zigzag,

but I have backup turned off.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is there an automatic temp files clean-out process in Windows 7?

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
What are these CAB_nnnn_2,3,4,5,6 files in C:\Windows\Temp?
I have observed the every-few-hours creation of files in the C:\Windows\Temp folder of both my sister and brother-in-law's Win7 Pro x64 machines (Lenovo M93p both), which are on the same LAN in their house. They eventually consume all available free space on C, and other programs needing space...
System Security
Changed location of 'TMP' and 'Temp' in Variables but no Temp files?
I know there are posts against and posts for this tweak for relocating the TMP and Temp files in Variables, but more posts say to relocate it OFF an SSD drive. My Computer is fairly new running OS Windows 7 Premium 64Bit on a 220 gig SSD with 1 tet disk drive for data. I created a folder on...
Performance & Maintenance
Windows Automatic update files
Hello, are the automatic update files in my disk? thanks, RR
Windows Updates & Activation
Deleting C: Windows --> Temp Files
I have a question. Can i safely delete files from this folder C: Windows Temp as it is 9,9GB in size. Picture 1 I know that you can delete files from folder when you open Start and then type %temp% but can you delete files in that folder as first picture shows? Would appreciate the help.
Performance & Maintenance
How many process on a clean reformat of windows 7
Went to the task manager and saw about 67 processes running (80% bloat im sure) How many processes should be running on a clean install of windows 7?
Performance & Maintenance

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 21:38.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App