Which Windows Temporary System files and folders should not be deleted?

Here is a list of Ten Windows System Temporary files and folders that should not be deleted.

Apart from the Windows root directory, Program Files, and ProgramData; there are some other system files created by Windows for running it smoothly. Most of these files are important system files, and should not be deleted.

  1. Hiberfile – It stores the contents of Hibernation.
  2. Pagefile – It stores the contents of Virtual Memory.
  3. Swapfile – It stores the contents of Windows Store Apps.
  4. WinSxS folder – WinSxS stands for Windows Side By Side. It contains different copies of Windows .dll files for compatibility purposes. Deleting this folder can render your system unbootable.
  5. Recovery folder – Recovery stores the files required to boot your computer in Windows Recovery Environment if the computer fails to boot in normal mode. It is normally less than 500MB so deleting this won’t make much of a difference. Plus, you should never mess with a recovery or repair tool.
  6. System Volume Information folder – It stores the contents of Windows Restore points. Deleting the contents of this folder will corrupt you Restore Points. If you want to save some space used by these restore points then a better option would be reducing the size used in System Restore. You can mention the percent space of each drive that you want to be used in System Restore.
  7. SWSetup folder – It stores the installation files for most of the drivers for your Windows. The device manufacturer provides it. If you are short on space on you Windows partition then move this folder to another partition or on a removable drive. Deleting it is not recommended.
  8. ESD folder – ESD stands for Electronic Software Distribution. It stores the Windows update images. Microsoft downloads the Windows Update files in the .esd format to Windows computers. These files are then used to perform update. The ESD files can be converted to ISO format, and then be used to perform a clean install using a bootable USB/DVD.
  9. Windows.old folder – It stores the system files from the previous installation of Windows. These files can be used to go back to a previous installation if you did not like the update. The Windows.old is safe to delete, but you have to boot in Safe Mode to do it easily and safely.
  10. MSOCache folder – It stores the temporary files required for installing Microsoft Office. Even you have not installed Microsoft Office yourself; chances are that this folder is still present in your computer because many times Windows includes a trial version of Office in its PCs or Upgrade images. The contents of this folder are not needed to run Office so it can be deleted. But you may need this folder to source the installation files if you ever wanted to repair your Office installation.

What are Windows Temporary files? How are they created? How to Find and Delete Temporary Files?


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