How to Delete Temporary Files in Windows 11

Temporary files can consume a lot of disk space. Here is how to delete temporary files in Windows 11 to free disk space.

Windows automatically creates several temporary files as part of its normal operation. Since Windows generates so many temporary files, they take up a lot of disk space. Sometimes, the total space utilized by temporary files can be several gigabytes. As you can guess, that’s a lot of wasted hard disk space.

If you don’t regularly delete temporary files, you may run out of disk space to save files and install software.

Table of contents:

What are temporary files?

If you’re wondering, temporary files are exactly what their name implies: temporary. Windows only needs them temporarily, and you can delete them when required. There is no harm in removing temporary files in Windows 11.

If Windows needs a temporary file, it will again create it.

Let me show you how to delete temporary files in Windows 11 with just a few clicks.

Delete temporary files using the Settings app

This is how you should remove temporary files using the Windows 11 Settings app.

  1. Launch Settings with “Win + I.”
  2. Click “System” on the sidebar.
  3. Go to the “Storage” page.
  4. Click the “Temporary files” option.
  5. Select all checkboxes.
  6. (Optional) Uncheck “Recycle Bin” checkbox.
  7. Click the “Remove files” button.
  8. Press the “Continue” button.
  9. Exit the Settings app.
  10. With that, temporary files are deleted.

Steps with more details:

Press the “Win + I” keyboard shortcut to Launch Windows 11 Settings application. Next, click “System” on the sidebar and go to the “Storage” page.

Here, click the “Temporary Files” option.

Now, select all the checkboxes. If you don’t want to delete Recycle Bin files, uncheck the “Recycle Bin” checkbox.

After selecting the checkboxes, press the “Remove Files” button.

When prompted for confirmation, press the “Continue” button.

This action will make the Settings app delete all temporary files. Depending on the number of temp files and size, it can take a few seconds. Once that is done, exit the Settings app.

With that, you have successfully removed temporary files using the Settings app.

Use Storage Sense to delete temporary files

Storage Sense is a built-in Windows 11 tool that allows you to delete temporary files manually or on a schedule to free up disc space. I’ve already written a detailed guide on how to enable and use Storage Sense to delete temporary files and clear up disk space. Follow the linked guide to learn how.

Delete temporary files manually

To delete temporary files manually, you have to clear three folders. They are system temp, user temp, and prefetch folders. This is how you do it.

Note: As I said earlier, these temporary files are safe to delete.

Delete temporary files from the System Temp folder

  1. Use “Win + R” to open Run.
  2. Type “%systemdrive%\Windows\Temp” in the blank field.
  3. Press the “Ok” button.
  4. Click “Continue” when prompted.
  5. Select all files and folders with “Ctrl + A.”
  6. Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard.
  7. Select the “Do this for all current items” checkbox.
  8. Press the “Continue” button.
  9. Close the temp window.
  10. With that, System Temp files are deleted.

Delete temporary files from the User Temp folder

  1. Use “Win + R” to open Run.
  2. Type “%temp%” in the blank field.
  3. Press the “Ok” button.
  4. Select all files and folders with “Ctrl + A.”
  5. Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard.
  6. Select the “Do this for all current items” checkbox.
  7. Press the “Continue” button.
  8. Close the temp window.
  9. With that, User Temp files are deleted.

Delete temporary files from the Prefetch folder

  1. Press “Win + R” to open Run.
  2. Type “prefetch” in the blank field.
  3. Press the “Ok” button.
  4. Click the “Continue” button when prompted.
  5. Press “Ctrl + A” to select all files and folders.
  6. Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard.
  7. Select the “Do this for all current items” checkbox.
  8. Press the “Continue” button.
  9. Close the Prefetch folder.
  10. With that, you have deleted temporary files from the Prefetch folder.

That is it. It is that simple to delete temporary files in Windows 11.

I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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