How to delete temporary files in Windows 11

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming from a solid background in PC... Read more
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  • Considering they can take up a lot of storage space, you should constantly delete temporary files in Windows 11.
  • You can easily do it through the System Settings menu.
  • Disk Cleanup will also help you clear the Windows 11 temporary files.
How to delete Temporary Files in Windows 11 [Complete Guide]
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Your OS has to store a lot of files, which are stocked across different folders. But some of these files are not linked to any critical processes.

In addition, your operating system may get the temporary files from application data, error logs and data, browsing data, window updates, and installation files, amongst others.

Keep in mind that they lay around occupying space on your computer, and the chances of you ever using these are bleak.

To boost your system’s performance and to make sure of efficiently functioning, it is recommended to clear them periodically. In these terms, today’s article will deliver some valuable options to delete Temporary Files in Windows 11.

For those who are running low on storage and it has started to affect the system’s performance, our guide will surely make a huge difference.

Which are the most common temporary files?

There are multiple examples of temporary files, but we have listed the most common types.

  • Windows Update CleanupThese files are related to the previous Windows updates. They are stored in your system in case you want to revert to the previous version. However, if the current OS version works fine, you can go ahead and delete them to free storage space.
  • Upgrade Log FilesThe lof files appear when you upgrade Windows. They are used to identify and troubleshoot issues during servicing or installation.
  • Temporary Files – We refer at these as the ones created by apps while executing a task. In general, the apps clear these files by default. However, it can happen to not be automatically deleted, so you can manually do it.
  • Temporary Internet Files – This category refers to the cache files for the websites you access on Microsoft Edge. Temporary Internet Files help your browser loading websites faster the next time you visit them. You can choose to delete them. However, the browser will create them all over again the next time you visit the website. Also, keep in mind that deleting these files may harm your browsing speed. Note that you’re also allowed to reset temporary Internet files location to default.
  • ThumbnailsThese ones support your system to quickly load the thumbnails for the various stored pictures, videos, and documents. Since Windows will automatically create new ones when needed, it is always safe to delete them.
  • Device Driver PackagesThe last category refers to the drivers’ copies, that were installed on your system previously. You can choose to delete them, and not being worry about affecting the currently installed drivers. 

How can I delete temporary files in Windows 11?

1. Use the Settings menu

  1. Hit the Windows key, then open the Settings menu.
  2. Select the System section, then navigate to Storage.
  3. Click on the Temporary files section.
  4. Checkmark all the files you want to delete, then click on the Remove files button.

2. Try Disk Cleanup

  1. Press on the Windows key, then type Disk Cleanup, and open it.
  2. Checkmark the files you want to delete, then click on OK.
  3. You can also choose to Clean up system files.
  4. Checkmark the files you want to delete, then click on OK.
  5. To confirm the changes, click on the Delete Files button.

As you probably predicted, Disk Cleanup represents a Windows built-in utility, that allows you to clear up storage by removing unneeded temporary files.

Keep in mind that you don’t risk deleting Downloads with Disk Cleanup. Check out how is this possible by giving a try to our dedicated article.

3. Delete files from Temp Folder

3.1 With File Explorer

  1. Use the following keyboard shortcut: Windows + R.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type %temp%, then click OK.
  3. Select the files you need to delete, then click on the Delete icon, marked as a trash.

3.2 With Command Prompt

  1. Press on the Windows key, type cmd, then choose to Run as administrator.
  2. Copy and paste the following command, then hit the Enter key: del /q/f/s %TEMP%\*
  3. Now all the temporary files that don’t require additional permissions will be deleted.

These two ways support you in deleting the files in the Temp folder. Consider the first one the manual representation, while running Command Prompt creates a more automatic result.

Check out how to automatically delete Temporary Files

  1. Navigate to the Storage page, from the Windows Settings menu.
  2. Look at the Storage Sense section, then make sure the toggle button is set on On.
  3. Now click on the Storage Sense section to customize various options.
  4. In the opened window, under Configure cleanup schedules, select the drop-down menus for each section, then select the desired options.

Storage Sense represents a Windows feature, which automatically deletes the temporary files on your PC. You can configure the Storage Sense settings according to your requirements and necessities.

After the Storage Sense configuration, your temporary files will be automatically cleaned on your system as per the set schedule.

Multiple tools will also support you in deleting these kinds of files, and most of them are available on Microsoft Store.

So, as you can notice, there are multiple easy solutions to get rid of Temporary Files in Windows 11. Most of the time, it is safe and even recommended to perform this action. However, you should select only those that affect your PC performance.

Because it is important to have a clear perspective about your system’s activity, we also recommend checking some ways to view Hidden Folders and Files in Windows 11.

For any additional questions or thoughts, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the section below.

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