Temp files can be described as the carbon paper of computers. In
many programs, when you open a document a temporary file is created.
All the work you do is on the temp file and when you tell the program
to save your work it is copied from the temp file to the document.
When you are finished with the document the temp files should be deleted.
Unfortunately this doesn't always happen, many programs don't clear
them properly and if the program crashes the temp file will not be cleared.
If too many temp files are on the computer it will slow down and some
temp files can cause problems. It is best to remove clean up stray temp
Windows 98, ME and 2000 have a disk cleanup function, cleanmgr.exe,
that you can use to tidy up the computer. Just press start, then
run and type cleanmgr, the program will then ask you what
hard drive and programs you want to clean up.
Windows 95 and NT users have to clean temp files out manually, close
all your programs and do a search on the hard drive for *.tmp files.
Most temp files are saved in the Windows\Temp folder. Everything
in this folder should be treated as being temporary and you should
not save anything there. Some e-mail programs save attachments into
this folder, if you want to keep them save them to another location.
Cleaning up your temp files is one of the little tasks that help
your computer run better. Along with scanning your disk for errors
and defragmenting it should be done every few months. We discuss the
basic housekeeping on our optimise page.