Temporary Internet Files – Windows Temp Files, Safe To Delete ?
Now here we go – needed is the quick computing lesson about what Temporary Files are safe to delete and not. The one piece of information in all my years around forums and personal websites (Community Help) was about software Temporary Files via software programs created was never mentioned or explained. This is by people that don’t know and never asked yet have great looking websites with plenty of other great information. How they all seem to miss this simplicity is a mystery and for all these years.
To clean up and why….. All the “clean up your tracks” and the “clean up your browsing history” and the “clean up your temporary computer history files” and all the like (and for personal security reasons) are all these various clean up utilities and many free for download and how to get to and clean up in a click the Windows / Temp files. HOWEVER, please read and for a trusted safe utility for these – I am only going to mention one of the most trusted and used and is actually Genuine Freeware (no ads, not ad-driven) and that is CCleaner HERE:
CCleaner – Home CCleaner created by Piriform authors of the hugely popular
freeware tools CCleaner, Recuva and Defraggler.
What is always safe to delete are “Internet Temporary Files” like when you open Internet Explorer (others – Firefox, Chrome) > Click Tools > Internet Options > Browsing History……
These are Windows magic, which makes computing fast (like a nano second actually) . These are all the like graphics images and pictures an gif (cartoon/animated) stored on the PC from each website you visit -continually but not doubles – and with each visit these are about instantly pulled up rather than re-downloading them which really has helped with Dial Up connection computing. If these are not deleted, they just keep piling up and piling up and are literally trash files – worthless other than for the speed afforded. Security wise if these are tapped by some spyware etc, they can see browsing history like financial logos or even password protected sites visited just by the graphics and pictures, images from the visit. You can plainly see this in their several folders – click View these. Also you may come across Windows Media movie files if you downloaded to view or there may have been an embedded player play one – but the entire copy of the movie is here (may have changed with newer versions of browsers) . You are not going to see all the text on pages here.
PART TWO….. is the software and Windows temporary files. WINDOWS TEMP FILES ARE TO BE TREATED LIKE SOFTWARE INSTALLATION TEMPORARY FILES WHICH ARE NOT TO BE IMMEDIATELY DELETED ! The software temporary files from installations are found when using Disk Clean Up (part of Windows). If you run Windows Disk Cleanup these will be presented as a menu item. You never delete these as you will see by highlighting them and click once to show the information about these at bottom and Windows explains like “these are safe to delete…. not used in 2 weeks or so…”. Softwares may or may not use these but after installation and after first usage. If the software is working just fine and on your way – that is when these are safe to delete. They are kind of like the “Repair Software” process many softwares have built into then rather than delete/reinstall a software with problem. These are usually special type or shareware software programs with Repair – not like little free utilities or Solitaire games etc.
These softwares have built into them to bug fix and restore missing program files in Repair (saves the time of uninstall / reinstall). This is why you wait for new softwares to convince themselves they are installed correctly and working properly before deleting their Temporary files. THIS is how Windows TEMP files are to be treated. DO NOT simply click Delete in clean up utilities and certainly NEVER manually delete their Folders and make sure these are NOT included in clean up utilities that have the “Delete All Zero Content (empty) Folders” – uncheck this – it is VERY irresponsible as there can even be Log Files Folders as part of an installation that just happened to be empty (zero content) or security Log folders and so on. Uninstalled software many, many times leaves an empty folder in Windows / Program Files. These are trash and is what those utilities features were referring to but will delete the others being part of the software.
To delete Windows / TEMP files best practices are to be in a low/no lot of activity going on with softwares and the internet and on and on. If you are
going to run this clean up it should after like when you are shutting down for the day – everything closed and after a fresh reboot from this. Let the PC sit for at least 5 minutes after it has started and all loaded ready to go – and observe any scheduled feature you may have (calendar reminder etc). Close down all programs you can from start up tray. Keep it calm and wait a minute and more with these actions. You don’t want Windows running to perform this. You have things shut down NOTHING running and waiting a few moments and your PC is on and very still and quiet….. NOW run the Windows TEMP clean up. Otherwise there may be mistaken deletions or rather error messages that certain of these files are in use – “can not delete the selected files” and the bang noise (fatal error bang) even.
Along all these clean up lines there all also the Windows Logs and Error Reporting etc. Do not delete these unless any bug or glitch or notification of
Windows sending out an error report and so on is days past like at least a week or so. Over cleaning can actually back fire and slow down the computer if and when replacement files need to be created. Certainly after cleaning up the Temporary Internet Files – the first couple clicks to websites take that nano second extra because it can not fetch the temporaries and has to download them.
RANT: Said all that to say this….. some groups or forums or people would have just answered “yeah, they are definitely trash and safe to delete – just click delete all” . There was nothing further from the truth. You then go to the next one to see the person asking how to fix missing files. Two, three paragraphs are necessary to answer most security and computer help questions …. not a text messaging group with one liners that grew out of pay per minute internet from Usenet days before Windows 95.
As well in security it is also recommended to go to Start > Control Panel > Java and open the Java panel and click “Do Not Store Temporary Files On This Computer” ….Malware as well has used Java to infect computers and can hide in these temporary files in the system. This will not affect navigation at all. These are like Temporary Internet Files and are stored for re-visit to a website to load it just a tad faster as the Temporary Internet Files are used for and stored for those reasons. These are junk/trash files completely safe to delete. (In other words when going to a website – any images and pictures and some text items are stored on the computer as well as the cookies files. When re-visiting that same website – these are uploaded from the computer rather than re-downloading then over the internet each time which makes the loading of the website page a tad faster. In real world – it is like nano seconds of no real noticeable speed to the naked eye.)