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How to automatically clean the Temp folder on Windows 10

Windows has, for the longest time, had a folder called Temp. You can guess from the name of the folder that it holds temporary files. These files can build up over time and up until recently, you had to manually clean them. Some apps that save files to the Temp folder may delete the ones it saved however they’re rare. The Temp folder can end up taking quite a bit of space but if you’re on Windows 10 1803 or Windows 10 1809, you can automatically clean the Temp folder.

Clean the Temp folder

Windows 10 has a setting that can clean the temp folder automatically. Open the Settings app and go to the System group of settings. Select the Storage tab and turn on Storage Sense. After you turn it on, click the ‘Change how we free up space automatically’.

On the next window, make sure the Temporary files option is enabled,. On this same screen you can select how often the Recycle bin is cleaned. You can have Windows 10 clean it every day, every two weeks, every month, and every two months.

The time period after which the temporary files are deleted works follows the setting for Storage Sense. Storage sense can delete files every day, every week, every month, or when you’re low on disk space. You can choose any of these four options to run Storage Sense and select a different period for deleting files in the Recycle Bin.

Up until Microsoft added Storage Sense to Windows 10, the Temp folder had to be cleaned manually. It isn’t complicated to delete the contents of the Temp folder but the fact is that end users may not know about it. It can end up taking a lot of space on your system. While Windows 10 now has an easy way to clean the Temp folder, it still won’t tell you when the folder is getting too big.

Temporary files aren’t synonymous with useless files. Apps that create and store them on your system need to use these files. The files are only relevant for a short period of time and often apps will save new ones when the older ones expire. That said, if you have Storage Sense cleaning the Temp folder too often, it is possible that some apps start acting up. If that happens, change the period after which the Temp folder is cleaned. Two weeks is a reasonable amount of time. Most cookie files that browsers save normally expire after two weeks and the same time period should work for other apps and the temporary files they create/save.

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