How to Delete Windows Temporary Files Using File Explorer
This tip is for Windows 10 and Windows 11
If you’ve used Storage Sense (Settings) or Disk Cleanup to remove temporary files, you’ve probably noticed there are still a lot of temporary files remaining on your PC.
If you want to clean up nearly all of the temporary files on your computer, you can do that using File Explorer.
1. Important: Save anything you’re working on and close all open programs.
2. Press Windows + R to open a Run box.
3. Type %temp% into the Run box and press “Enter”.
4. A File Explorer window will open with a lot of temporary files and folders. Press Ctrl + A to select all the temporary files at once. When all are selected, right-click and choose “Delete”.
IMPORTANT: If you get a warning that certain files can’t be deleted – it’s because they’re in use. If you see this warning, choose “Skip” to continue.
5. Press the Windows key + R to open another Run box. Type TEMP in the Run box and press “Enter”.
NOTE: You may get a warning that you don’t have permission to access this folder. If you do, just click “Continue”.
6. Press CTRL+A to select all the files and folders in the directory. Once they are all selected, right-click and choose “Delete”.
Something else to remember – If you get a warning that certain files cannot be deleted click “Skip”.
You’re almost done.
7. Right-click the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and choose “Empty Recycle Bin.”
That’s it. Now you know how to delete almost all of your temporary files using File Explorer.
For a more advanced approach, you can use the Command Prompt to manually delete temporary files. Make sure to save anything you’re working on and close all open programs before proceeding:
- Type Command Prompt in the Taskbar search & press Enter.
- Right-click on the Command Prompt icon and select “Run as administrator.”
- In the Command Prompt window, copy and paste or type the following command (exactly as shown) and press Enter:
del /q /f /s %temp%\*
Remember, you can never delete all the temporary files on your computer because as long as Windows is running, temporary files are constantly being created.
Wait! Before you go…
Every week we help dozens of people with their computers without charge or any expectation of payment. We have helped many folks who have fallen for tech support scams or other scams designed to steal their money.
And we now depend more on readers like you to help keep us going. Your donation helps us to help more people with their computers and helps us keep everyone safer online.
Please help support our small business and help us to keep on helping you.