42GB of… temporary files?! Yeah, it happened

Temporary files are, as the name may suggest, a bunch of files that will eventually be deleted one day. They are typically picked up while surfing the web, hitting up websites. While eventually, by design, temporary files are supposed to be temporary, they can build up. And, in rare cases, you may find temporary files using up a whole lot of space on your computer. Like the following:


I believe the most appropriate thing to say here is: that is a lot of porn, batman.

[via Reddit]

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  • Eric989

    @Francoise: Whenever I want to post a screenshot here I upload it to http://imgur.com/ It is super quick and easy to upload. The image won’t be visible on dottech but all we will have to do is click on the link you generate to imgur if we are interested. It is really quite painless. Otherwise you can put it in the forums here if you are so inclined.

  • Shawn


    As I am currently on medical leave I have a lot of time on my hands.

    This is what I plan on doing once I get my Test Machine up and running is to create some tutorials and think outside the box type of tricks with appilcations like right now I don’t know if you remember the software from PearlMountain Photo Collage Maker? I’m making a tutorial on how to convert cool fonts “Stuff you find on dafont and other sites” and convert them into masks (Which can also be used in other programs) using imagemagick and a simple dos batch file but my goal with this little project is to make guides that even someone who’s never used a computer can follow the steps.

    The hardest thing for me right now is to choose a proper image hosting site for the screenshots. The rest will be easy with my templates.

    So no need to worry I’ll make sure to keep my guides and recommendations simple enough and straight to the point..

    Enjoy the rest of the week-end…

  • JMJ

    @Shawn: I really appreciate the info. I’m no savvy programmer like you are, so I’ll have to tread v-e-r-y slowly in following your guides but am anxious to start playing.

    I guess you really meant it when, discussing Cameyo + Sandboxie over in the Programming Skillz forum , you *warned* : “I thought I might make you lose your week-end or make you all sleep deprived with this…”

    Congratulations! Happy to report, your mission is successful. :-)

  • Shawn


    Here’s a line from my batch file as an example that I run from the ROOT.

    FOR /F “tokens=*” %%F IN (‘DIR /B /AD /S TEMP’) DO RMDIR /S /Q %%F

    This line will find every TEMP folder in all the profiles and even other folders if it contains TEMP it’s gone.

    The batch also includes the usual mis-behaving programs such DVDFab that doesn’t always remove the temp .vob files after making the final build.

    DOS Might be old but for managing crap files never had a problem with it and if the file is locked well I’m definitely not going to delete it.

  • Shawn

    You know thoses files that are under 1k but still take the full block well inside truecrypt the files take only the space they neeeded I’ve made all 16 million color png’s of 1 pixel each… the files we’re small but the space taken was ridiculous but in truecrypt the files only took the space of their actual size.

    SevenForums.. nope Hunt4Gold on raymond.cc ShawnWD on most other sites.

    My batch files are setup in my login logouts however they do have a filter on them to avoid wiping the temp folder before a proper restart was done. The Contig trick will only touch the files that are fragmented the rest of them Contig will not touch.

    As for something always running in the background too much wear and tear and for the difference it gives not really worth it.

    I’ll clean up my batch file and I’ll gladly post it in the programming section. (I keep on adding to it files that are leftover by programs)

    Right now with all my portable apps my OS without anything attached (That’s including all service packs and .net frameworks) I was able to bring down my windows xp sp3 to 4.2 gigs all the rest are managed either in a Sandbox or Cameyo portable apps on a secondary drive. I also use a few tools from nirsoft to monitor new files and new registry entries.

    But enough blabbing for now… I’m currently hunting a decent WordPress editor for the forum to start making thoses tutorials and a few google tricks to find all kinds of freebies.

    Take care everyone..

  • John Smith

    Unless you clicked Run Cleaner again or closed CCleaner, you could have double clicked that specific entry and you’ll see details of the files removed including the full paths and names.

  • JMJ

    @Shawn: Hey there. Very informative and creative solutions. Are your batches run on a schedule; do you set a fragmentation/time-stamp threshold that triggers a defrag; is the Trucrypt volume purged @ logon/off ? Why not use something like Diskeeper that runs as a Service and does all this constantly? Do you treat the temp folders/files created by, for example, a video-copying application or a misbehaving Adobe app? I can imagine the work that went into creating what seems to me to be darn near a full utility. Have you written about it anywhere? Finally, are you the Shawn of sevenforums fame? :-)

    @Ashraf – Is there some monitor running constantly, like Reliability or Performance or Error Reporting or a third-party’s? I’ve not seen anything like your numbers except with something like the old Bootviz run incorrectly.

  • Francoise

    If I could post a picture here I would, to show you I’m not lying. Once, I discovered I had 100 gigabites “missing” on a relatively new 250 gb hard drive.

    After some exploration with Disk Space Fan I found the culprit: Microsoft Money. That’s a lot of moolah, man…

    I took a snapshot of the line in the list of programs. It remained so for several more weeks or months and then, one day, plouf…
    the 100 gigs were freed without doing anything other than using the program from time to time.

  • Shawn

    Been there… now I’ve got batch files that trigger folder wipes.

    Used to do alot of video editing however the damn tool I used to use never deleted it’s temp files.

    btw a trick I found to avoid lots of over excessive fragmentations is a auto mounted truecrypt partition for the temp folder a bit slower but I don’t have to worry about the mess that theses files cause.

    Looked at your 42 gigs with a average of 4 megs per file that’s alot of messed up clusters. Should you want a clean fix for your system I recommend Contig from Sysinternals as it is 32/64 bit and with just a batch “Contig -v -s c:\*.*” that will keep the fragments to a minimum (Uless your using a ssd then the manufacturer’s tools are way better for the job)