How To Move ‘Temp’ Folders

Whenever you run a cleanup app like CCleaner it will, among other things, clean your ‘Temp’ folder… and to be honest, if you don’t clean the Temp folder in a long while, it can become very bloated. Cleaning it obviously frees up space on your C (or system) drive.

But wait! I have mentioned just one ‘Temp’ Folder. If you have just one user account on your PC then you have two ‘Temp’ folders and the more accounts you have on your machine, the more ‘Temp’ folders, as a temp folder is created for each user.

The first Temp folder is in your Windows directory and is a system folder.

The second temp folder can be found in your user profile AppData/Local folder in Vista, Win7 and Win8 and in your user profile Local Settings folder in XP.
To me, good housekeeping is having all of the temp folders together, in just one place, and if you have just a small SSD for your system drive then to move it to another partition will undoubtedly save space.

I am going to explain how to relocate the temp files folder as well as merge them together all in one. Should you just want to merge them then follow the tutorial, but remember to point one of the temp folders to the other’s location.

Create a folder for your temp files in a partition or drive of your choice, you can call it whatever you want.

Open the System Properties window by pressing the Win + Pause/Break keys together then clicking on Advanced System Settings in the left hand pane…


… or take the direct route by typing sysdm.cpl in the Run or Search box and press Enter.

Under the ‘Advanced’ tab you will find an Environment Variables button, click on that.

In the ‘System Variables’ box scroll down to TEMP and TMP.

Double click on one of the variables or highlight one and select Edit and type in the Location of your new Temp Folder.

Do the same for the other variable. The Windows temp file location has now been changed, there are two ways to change the user temp file location.
In the top box called User Variables double click on the TEMP variable. Now either delete the variable value OR type in the new path and press OK.
Do the same for the the TMP variable.

If you have multiple accounts on your machine, you will need to log-in to each account to move the ‘User’ temp folder.
Windows will now store all temporary files and folders in the new location.
Restart your system for the changes to take effect.

About the Author

Alan Wade

Alan is a semi-retired geek from England, who has lived in Sweden with his wife and family since 2001. His interest in computers began in the mid 1980’s with the introduction of the Commodore Vic 20 where he learned to hack game code so he could force his name to appear as the high scorer. Alan made his way through the horde of console computers in the late 80’s and early 90’s before settling on Windows with the release of Windows 3.1. He has worked in the broadband industry on both the technical and installation side. In his off time he enjoys building computers for family and friends as well as digging into the guts of the OS to customize and tweak the OS.

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