How to Access Temp Files in Windows 10 (2023 Reviewed)

In Windows, there are special folders where temp files are stored. If you need to access these files and aren’t sure how, this guide will show you in a few ways How to Access Temporary Files in Windows 10. This might help you in your techy struggle.

Before going into how to access temporary files, let’s go over what they are and why you’d want to access them:

There are many different types of files that can make up temp files. Examples include unsaved text files, files extracted from installers and compressed files, video files from streaming websites, and downloaded executable files that you “run” instead of “save”. In general, they are files that are created by programs for a specific purpose and meant to be used for a limited amount of time or uses. Once that purpose has been fulfilled, Windows will eventually delete them.

Sometimes temporary files will stick around for longer than you want them to and take up hard drive space. That’s why a common reason for accessing the temporary file folders is to delete the files manually. If you don’t want to delete these files manually there are both system and third-party tools that help you do so automatically. The tools will be covered in this guide.

You may also want to access temp files in order to restore data that would otherwise be lost. Expanding on the first example, if a word processing program crashes while in use the incomplete text file can often be found in one of the temporary file folders. If in the past you’ve written a paper in Microsoft Word and had it close somehow before saving you may have had to find the temporary file to recover your progress.

How you get to these temporary files will depend on which ones you need to access:

As there are many different types of temporary files, there are several places where temp files are stored. The two main areas are in the Windows folder and in your user folder:

The simplest way to access the user temp folder is through Windows search:

  1. Open Windows Search by clicking on it or with the Win + S shortcut, then enter “%temp%” into the search box, and then click on its entry when it comes up.

You should now be in the “C:\Users\*Your User Name*\AppData\Local\Temp” folder.

If for some reason this doesn’t work, you can also go to it manually from File Explorer:

Before you can do this, you’ll need to enable the showing of hidden folders. Here’s how:

  1. Open Windows Search by clicking on it or using the Win + S shortcut, begin typing “File Explorer Options” and click on the entry named as such when it comes up.
  2. Click on the View tab at the top of the File Explorer Options window.
  3. Find the Hidden files and folders entry and click on the bubble next to Show hidden files, folders, and drives under it.
  4. Click on OK once you’re done.

Now that you’ve made hidden folders visible, you can go to the Temp folder in your user folder:

  1. Open File Explorer by clicking on its icon or with the Win + E shortcut. Go to This PC if not already on it
  2. Now double-click on your Windows hard drive, usually (C:), to open it.
  3. Find and open the Users folder.
  4. Now open the folder with your user name. In my case, it’s “Ryder”.
  5. Look for a faded/transparent folder named AppData and open it.
  6. Now open the Local folder.
  7. From here you can find and open the Temp folder.Temp folder Guide for Temporary Files

Getting to the Temp folder inside the Windows folder is a similar process:

  1. Open File Explorer by clicking on its icon or with the Win + E shortcut. Go to This PC if you’re not already on it.
  2.  Now double-click on your Windows hard drive, usually (C:), to open it.
  3. Find the Windows folder and open it.
  4. Now scroll down and find the Temp folder and open it.Temp Folder with Temporary Files

Most of the Temporary Files you would need to access will be in one of the main Temp folders, but some programs use their own folders:

TempSlate Folder -Temporary Files

For example, if you’re using the Microsoft Edge browser to download an executable file and click “Run” instead of “Save“, it will end up in a temporary folder instead of your usual Downloads folder. If you end up needing to run this file again, you won’t be able to find it easily. Temporary downloads for Edge end up in  “C:\Users\*Your User Name*\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\TempState\Downloads”.

So if you aren’t able to find the files you’re looking for in either of the Temp folders, you’ll likely need to consult a guide of some kind. If you’re looking for a particular program’s temp files, you may want to check its documentation or contact support. Online guides of all kinds for accessing specific files are also pretty easy to find with an internet search. Just use your preferred search engine and enter “find *program name* temporary files”.

If you just want to get rid of temporary files you don’t need anymore, using a cleanup tool is the best way:

One of the easiest ways to clear up disk space is to use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool. It can delete system files that are no longer needed.

Here’s how to access and use it:

  1. Open File Explorer by clicking on its icon or with the Win + E shortcut. Go to This PC if you’re not already on it.
  2. Now right-click on your Windows hard drive, usually (C:), then click on Properties.Local Disk Properties Setting- a step to find Temporary Files
  3. Once in the Properties window, click on Disk Cleanup.Local Disk Properties to access Temporary Files
  4. Click on Clean up system files button to be able to remove more types of files.Disk Cleanup & Temporary Internet Files
  5. Click the checkboxes next to everything that you want to delete in the Disk Cleanup window. Only check the box next to Downloads if you don’t need any of the files in your Downloads folder.Disk Cleanup setting featuring Temporary Internet Files
    • (Optional) To free up more hard drive space, click on the More Options tab and then on Clean up… under System Restore and Shadow Copies. As the description says, it will delete all but the most recent system restore point
    • .Disk Cleanup options to access Temporary Files
  6. Click on OK once you’ve selected all that you want to delete. The clean-up may take a while to complete.Disk Cleanup featuring Temporary Files and Downloaded Files
Windows CCleaner Application - Quick Clean for Temporary Files

If you’d like to delete unneeded files from third-party software as well, a program like CCleaner is very helpful. You can download the free version and use the Quick Clean feature to have CCleaner automatically decide what to remove, or go through the options in Custom Clean to choose what to keep and get rid of.

How to delete manually using the Recycle Bin

Once you are in the temp folder highlight the files that you want delete and either press “Delete” or drag them to the Recycle bin. To permanently delete from the recycle bin right click the recycle bin and click empty Recycle bin

Suggested Read: How To Back Up Your Windows 10 Computer

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I restore Temporary Files in Windows 10?

As of the latest Windows updates, it has become much easier to get to your temporary files and even restore them in case you have accidentally deleted them recently:

Open the Settings app and then go to Update & Security > Backup. Select Restore files from a current backup. Step 2. You can now browse to your temp file folders and you will be able to select the files that you want and then choose to restore them.

How do I show hidden files on Windows 10?

This is yet another simple task that you can achieve easily. The first method: go to the search box on the taskbar, type “folder”, and then select “Show hidden files and folders” from the search results. Alternatively, you can go under Advanced settings, select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”, and then select OK.

How do I find the WindowsApps folder?

  • Open your File Explorer.
  • From the top menu, select View > Hidden files.
  • Go to the “Program Files” and look for the “WindowsApps” folder. It will now be there.

How do I see all files and subfolders in Windows 10?

This is for Windows 10, but should work in other Win systems. Go to the main folder you are interested in, and in the folder search bar type a dot “.” and press enter. This will show literally all the files in every subfolder.

How do I give myself administrator privileges in Windows 10?

  • Go to Start > type ‘control panel’ > double click on the first result to launch the Control Panel.
  • Go to User Accounts > select Change account type.
  • Select the user account to change > Go to Change the account type.
  • Select Administrator > confirm your choice to complete the task.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand temp files and manage them as you wish. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. We appreciate any new perspective regarding solving the problems that might occur in Windows 10 and Windows 11 alike, so don’t be shy and share this article with your friends to get a productive discussion started. Let us know in the comments section below!

You might also wanna check out some related articles like Upgrade To Windows 10 Using Windows Update, Windows 10 Taskbar Not Hiding Our Solutions, Windows 10 Notifications Not Working, and more on our website.


  1. On a domain PC. In, Local Disk (C) Windows Temp, there are logs that say laptop name-20201119-0818.log. Then a date. Lots of them, and the numbers change. When I try to open, it says I don’t have permission, to see owner of file or administrator to obtain permission. I have admin rights to the computer. How do I open it, and what’s in it?
    Thank you for any help you can provide.

  2. Als Alternative haben Sie den Emjysoft Cleaner, der darauf ausgelegt ist, das wirklich Unentbehrliche zu bereinigen, indem er die nativen Windows-Tools so weit wie möglich bevorzugt. Die Philosophie dieser Software ist nicht, möglichst viele Daten zu löschen (Marketingeffekt), sondern das Unentbehrliche mit dem geringstmöglichen Risiko für Ihren Computer zu löschen.

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