Computer Help forum

General discussion

Deleting temp and "unnecessary" files from hard drive

by chicagozip / April 15, 2007 12:40 AM PDT

I'm trying to clean up my hard drive...beyond what Microsoft's Disk Cleanup will do. I notice scores of folders in my Windows Temp folder with names "mcu1A.temp", or mcu1B, mcu1C, etc. May I just delete these folders? They contain files named *.mcaf.

Also, in my Windows Temp folder are tons of folders with file names that begin with UPD and end with .tmp. Can i get rid of these?

I've also read an article on CNN's website about cleaning hard drives. In it, its says to search for and delete the following file types: ~*.*, _*.*, *.??_, and *.??~. I understand the use of the asterisks in the search, but what are these files and can I delete them?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Deleting temp and "unnecessary" files from hard drive
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Deleting temp and "unnecessary" files from hard drive
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Yes and yes
by Kees Bakker / April 15, 2007 1:16 AM PDT

Everyting in Windows\temp can be deleted. But some may be in use, so it's good practice to sort on date and not touch everything created today.
Same goes for the files in the Temp subfolder of the Local Setttings folder in your Documents and Settings.

If you use MS Word you might have noticed it uses scratch files starting with ~. Normally, they are deleted if Word closes, but if you find them, it's safe to delete them.
And an extension like .ex_ or dl_ generally is a leftover from some install (they are expended to .exe and .dll, and can be deleted afterwards).

You might like do download free ccleaner to automate some of this deletes.

Hope this helps.


Collapse -
Thanks, and can you recommend?
by chicagozip / April 15, 2007 3:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes and yes

Thanks very much. Since it's not Spring outside here (Chicago), I'm pretending it is inside and am doing a little computer cleaning.

As for the free hard drive (or file) cleaner, can you recommend one?


Collapse -
Look close
by Bob__B / April 15, 2007 5:44 AM PDT

at Kee's post.

"ccleaner" is not a typo.

Use google to find.

Collapse -
Those all indicate temporary type files UNLESS...
by Edward ODaniel / April 15, 2007 3:25 AM PDT

you are in the habit of using any of that format when saving files yourself.

Assuming you do not name files you save in those formats, the quickest and easiest way to remove them is from the command line or via a batch file.

If you copy EVERYTHING in bolded print between the lines of asterisks (but not those lines) and save it as a notepad file named del_temp.bat this file can be doubleclicked and will perform the search and deletions for you.


REM change to C: drive then root of drive
ECHO Checking Drive C: for temporary files for deletion
cd \

REM deletes recursively all indicated files
del *.tmp /s
del ~*.* /s
del _*.* /s
del *.??_ /s
del *.??~ /s

REM copy commands and paste below for additional drives
REM and change C: as necessary for any other drives
REM or partitions -- do not list CD drives

REM following line allows windo to remain open to see
REM results. Pressing any key closes window.


Another major advantage of using the command line for deleting the temp files is that any that are in use are skipped without stopping the deletions of the rest. Deleting recursively means that all indicated files even in subdirectories are also deleted.

Have fun.

Collapse -
(NT) Cool cmd. Thanks for posting it. :-)
by caktus / April 15, 2007 6:00 AM PDT
Collapse -
I would recommend that you be VERY CAREFUL...
by Edward ODaniel / April 16, 2007 4:34 AM PDT

using this one del *.??_ /s if you happen to have your installation CD copied to your hard drive.

Collapse -
reply to: I would recommend that you be VERY CAREFUL...
by caktus / April 17, 2007 2:38 AM PDT

Thanks for the tip. Does this include OEM's System Recovery partition?

Collapse -
Yes it would IF...
by Edward ODaniel / April 17, 2007 3:08 AM PDT

your OS can access that recovery partition AND if you have added that partition to the basic batch file offered as another drive to recursively delete.

If the commands are not directed to a specific partition they don't affect it.

Collapse -
reply to: Yes it would IF...
by caktus / April 17, 2007 1:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes it would IF...

Since the Recovery partition is On D: and the cmd as copied from you're post only mentions C: So I guess the cmd should be safe for my machine.

BTW, I have RECGUARD.exe in global Startup. I assume that also would prevent the Recovery partition from being deleted. But I'm gonna keep it out of the Del cmd any way.


Collapse -
this is useful when cleaning tem files
by harisnattukal / April 1, 2016 5:56 AM PDT

this is very useful, if include the cd c:\windows\temp\ *.* /s /q ..

Collapse -
(NT) Time To Lock This Thread After NINE Years
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 1, 2016 10:11 AM PDT
Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


Meet the drop-resistant Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is really thin, with a fast processor and great battery life. It can survive drops without shattering.