Are You Unable To Delete Windows 11/10 Temporary Files? Here’s What To Do!

In this guide, we’ll be learning what temp files are, potential reasons for encountering the problem of ‘Windows TMP files not deleting’, and effective ways to fix the issue. We will also discuss an automatic way to clean temp files and keep your PC optimized for faster & smoother performance

If you are trying to delete temp files in Windows 11/10 PC but are somehow unable to, you’re not alone! Several users rush to the Reddit forum to report the issue. Fortunately, the issue isn’t that difficult to resolve. Hence, we’re here with the most effective workarounds to fix the problem.

What Are Temp Files?

As the name entails, temp files are the kind of files that stores temporary data & are created by Windows OS and computer programs. These files assist the computer to run smoothly and execute tasks smoothly. Such files automatically become redundant once the associated current task is completed or the program is closed.

Why Do TMP Files Keep Appearing?

Temp files are created when programs can’t allocate enough memory for executing their tasks. These files essentially store temporary data but are later transferred to a permanent file when the task is complete. Over time, these files are accumulated in one place and occupy gigabytes of space.

Why Won’t Temp Files Delete On Windows 11/10 PC?

There are a few factors that prevent you from deleting temporary files.

  • Corrupted Windows settings.
  • Pending Windows update.
  • Conflicts with third-party software.
Fun Fact: Temporary file is also known as foo file.

Best Fixes For “TMP Files Not Deleting Manually Or Automatically” (2023)

Here are some simple ways to fix the issue related to ‘Windows temp files not removing”:

Method 1: Manual Way To Delete Temp Data Permanently

Windows OS stores all the temporary files in certain locations (C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Temp) on your system. To manually find and delete these files once and for all, simply do the following:

  • Hit the Windows + R keys together to launch the Run dialog box.
  • Type %temp% in the run window and hit the OK button.
  • Select all the files within the Temp folder and press the SHIFT + DEL keys altogether to permanently delete these files.
  • At last, launch the Run dialog box again and type
  • Select all the files and press the SHIFT + DEL keys again.

Make sure to hit the Skip button if you see the warning “File or Folder is in use” while temp files are cleaned. This message means, the particular temp file is still in use by a program or Windows OS.

Method 2: Disk Cleanup In Windows 10

Disk Cleanup is an in-built tool that was inculcated by Microsoft since the very beginning of the Windows operating system. The main goal of this maintenance utility is to clean the temp, junk, obsolete, and all unwanted files from the hard drive and save storage space. To delete TMP files using the Disk Cleanup tool, this is what you need to do:

STEP 1 – Navigate to the search box on the taskbar and type Disk Cleanup.

STEP 2 – As soon as you see the relevant result, click on the same to launch the tool.

Disk Cleanup

STEP 3 – Now, select the drive you wish to clean up & hi the OK button.


Next, you need to locate and hit the option ‘Clean up system files’ and hit the OK button.

Clean up system files

STEP 4 – Let the Disk Cleanup tool analyze all your files and then display them categorically.

Disk Cleanup tool

Place a check next to the files you want to delete and press the OK button.


Click on Delete Files again, if the prompt appears to confirm your choice!

Method 3: Use Command Prompt

It is a fact that if you cannot delete a file in Windows operating system by the normal click and delete method, then you can always try the Command Prompt. Most of the errors that occur stating the file is in use or cannot delete due to system error can be resolved by using command prompt.

Step 1: Type Command Prompt in the search box on the taskbar and from the result, hover your mouse over the Command Prompt app. Then choose Run As Administrator to run the Command Prompt in an elevated mode,

Step 2: Type the following command in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.

del /q /f /s %temp%\* && del /s /q C:\Windows\temp\*

Command Prompt window for fix temporary files not deleting

Step 3: Restart your computer, and you will feel the difference between a clean and smooth functioning system.

Method 3: Delete The Temp Files Using The Run Box

If you are not comfortable using the Command Prompt, then you can use the RUN box and manually delete all the temp files. Here are the steps to accomplish this:

Step 1: Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type “TEMP" in the text box within the Run box. This will open a folder on your computer.

Step 3: Press CTRL + A on your keyboard to select all the files and in the folder and then hold the SHIFT key and hit the DELETE key. This will permanently delete all the temp files in the folder.

Step 4: Open the RUN dialog box again, and this type "%TEMP%” and press OK.

open run dialog box

Step 5: Repeat Step 3 on this folder and delete all the files and folders in this folder as well.

This clears all the temporary files from your system.

Note: The TEMP stores temporary system files and the %TEMP% stores the temporary files of the user.

Method 4: Use Advanced PC Cleaner & Optimizer

The final way to resolve the Windows 10 temporary files not deleting is to use an app that can optimize your system entirely and there isn’t better than Advanced System Optimizer (ASO). I have been using ASO for about 5 years now and seem to have forgotten my computer woes.

It not only cleans my temp and junk files but does a lot more. It includes modules to fix registry issues, remove browsing history, and privacy traces, update outdated drivers, optimize games for fast performance, backup/restore files, shred files permanently and do more.

Advanced System Optimizer

Conclusion: Were You Able To Fix Windows 11/10 Temporary Files Not Deleting Problem?

Hopefully, these four ways work flawlessly to get rid of temp files in Windows 11/10 that are not deleting properly. The first two methods are great ways to clean your computer but do not provide an insight into what is being deleted. Latter workarounds provide a way to comprehensively clean temp files. I have been using the Advanced System Optimizer for quite a few years now, but before I found this remarkable software, I used the Command Prompt method for cleaning.

If you know any other method to get rid of the aforementioned issue, feel free to shoot your suggestions in the comments section below!

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  • comment_avtar

    2 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Khadijah Nayeem
    BRO A LIFE SAVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mridula Nimawat
      Thank you

      2 years ago

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