How to manually delete Windows XP temporary files

Manually remove the contents of the temporary folder in Window XP is often a vital maintenance task especially when your PC cleanup utilities fail to clean out the temporary files and folder automatically. This article describes how to manually clean out the "Temp" folder in Microsoft Windows XP.

Step 1: Search Temp Files
  • Click Start -> Run.
  • In the text box in the pop up window, type %Temp% and click OK. A folder full of files and other folders will appear.
  • The Temp folder appears. All files in this folder can be safely deleted as they are no longer being used by Windows XP.
  • Temporary files will be left in your \Documents and Settings\your username\Local Settings\Temp folder. Therefore, you can also use Windows Explorer to locate these files.

Step 2: Delete Temporary Files
To delete these file, hold Ctrl key plus left-click to choose files and then press Delete key .

Step 3: Delete prefetch directory
  • Click Start -> Run
  • In the text box in the pop up window, type prefetch and click OK. A folder full of junk files will appear. 
  • To delete the files in the prefetch directory, hold Ctrl key plus left-click to choose files and then press Delete key .
    • You may receive a Error Deleting File or Folder message while deleting the files are being. This means that some deleting files are being in use at the moment. To overcome this, just click OK, then close all open programs, and repeat the process. In case you still receive the same error message when trying to remove temporary files, try restarting your Windows and repeating the steps above.
    • After cleaning all temporary files, you can close the window and empty your Recycle Bin to permanently remove them from your machine.

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