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How to Delete Temporary Files in Windows 10 (clear temp files)

By clearing temp files from time to time, you can gain back a lot of C drive space. Here’re the steps to delete temporary files in Windows 10.

In a day to day operation Microsoft creates several temp files and stores them in various system folders. These temporary files are quite useful and allow the system to function efficiently and faster. However, over time these temporary files can build up to an extent where they consume several GBs worth of space in your C drive. For instance, last time I scanned my system, Windows 10 is using over 11 GB to store temporary files. This is in addition to the reserved storage. If you think that’s too much, follow the below steps to delete temporary files in Windows 10.

Previously, you’d have to manually go to different folders like temp, prefetch, recycle bin, etc., and delete files from there. Alternatively, you can also the trusty Disk Cleanup tool. However, the Disk Cleanup tool is pretty old, and compared to the current options, it is not that easy to use. Not to mention, if you are a beginner, the disk cleanup tool can be quite confusing.

In Windows 10, you can use the new Settings app to quickly scan, find, and delete temporary files with just a few clicks.

Delete Temporary Files in Windows 10

Simple steps:

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to “System → Storage“.
  3. On the right page, click on the “Temporary Files” option.
  4. Select the required checkboxes.
  5. Click the “Remove Files” button.

That is it.

Detailed Steps

1. First, search for the Settings app in the start menu and open it. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Win + I to open the Settings app.

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2. Once the Settings app has been opened, go to “System” and then to “Storage” appearing on the left side panel of the settings page.

3. On the right panel, the settings apps will show your C drive and start’s scanning it for storage details. You will also see how much storage the temp files are using under the Temporary Files section. Click on the “Temporary Files” button.

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4. Windows 10 will further scan the temporary files and lists them with how much space each type of temporary files are using. Some of the temporary files include but not limited to files in the recycle bin, Windows update cache, delivery optimization files, downloads folder, etc.

5. To delete temporary files, simply select all the required checkboxes in the list and click on the “Remove files” button.

Note: Do not select the “Downloads” folder checkbox unless you are sure.

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6. Depending on how many temporary files there are, it can take a couple of minutes to clear temporary files in Windows 10.

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Once that is done, you will see zero bytes under each and every temporary file type. You can now safely close the Settings app.

That’s all there is to do and it is that simple to delete temporary files in Windows 10.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, do check out how to delete old Windows installations files and how to clear component store files to gain back several GBs worth of space in your C drive.

9 thoughts on “How to Delete Temporary Files in Windows 10 (clear temp files)”

  1. Avatar for Oronk

    I have 59 GB of temp files and doing this only deletes a few MB. I need some help i’ve been looking everywhere. I’ve tried disk cleanup aswell put it doesn’t work.

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      What folders are consuming so much space? Are they old installation files?

      Take a look at the recycle bin. Use software like WinDirStat to scan your C drive and see which folder(s) is consuming so much space.

  2. Avatar for Stu Thomas

    Kindest thanks. After a Windows update the Temp Files exceeded 670 Gigabytes which was the majority of the drive doing nothing. WinDirStat.exe identified this, confirmed this and I used it to delete and regain the wasted space from a Windows 10 update. Kindest thanks

  3. Avatar for Mandi

    How can I recover temp files that were deleted in error???
    I had no idea that windows considered my whole Downloads folder a freakin ‘temp’ folder!

  4. Avatar for Karen N Shea

    found the temp files list, boxes are checked that can be safely removed, but there is nowhere that says “remove files.”

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