Like it or not, a lot of temporary files are piling up on your PC’s hard drive . Even now, at this very moment, I bet your system is creating some. Are you worried? You don’t have to, it’s normal!
Temporary files are data that the operating system and applications create as backups, or to speed up some operations you often perform. The presence of this data is completely normal, however it is advisable to delete them at regular intervals, to free up disk space or correct small malfunctions that may be encountered in the daily use of computers, smartphones and tablets.
How do you say? Don’t have a clue how to delete temporary files ? I assure you that everything is much simpler than it seems! A little patience and some tools, mostly free, are enough to be able to easily succeed in the enterprise. If you are ready to start, take five minutes of free time and implement the advice below: you will not regret it!
- How to delete temporary files from your PC
- How to delete temporary files from Windows 10 and later
- How to delete temporary files from Windows 7
- How to delete temporary files from Mac
- How to delete temporary files from mobile
- How to delete temporary files from Android
- How to delete temporary files from iPhone
- How to delete temporary files from the browser
- How to delete Google Chrome temporary files
- How to delete Mozilla Firefox temporary files
- How to delete Microsoft Edge temporary files
- How to delete Safari temporary files
- How to delete Internet Explorer temporary files
How to delete temporary files from your PC
If it is your intention to delete temporary files from your computer , you can use the tools integrated “standard” in Windows and macOS, or rely on third-party programs of proven seriousness. Find everything explained below.
How to delete temporary files from Windows 10 and later
To clear the records from the temporary files on Windows 10 (and subsequent editions of the operating system such as Windows 11 ), you can help the instrument memory Sensor : if I had ever heard, it’s a tool that allows you to delete files temporary files generated by programs, applications and the operating system, as well as the contents of the Downloads folder and the recycle bin, at regular intervals or manually.
To start, right-click on the Start button (the flag symbol located on the taskbar), click on the System and Storage items and then on the Configure Memory Sense item or run it now ; now, if you want Windows to automatically proceed with removing temporary files at regular intervals, move the toggle at the top of the screen to On .
Now, put the check mark next to Delete temporary files not used by apps and use the drop-down menus for the Recycle Bin and the Downloads folder to define the “maximum duration” of the files in the aforementioned locations. Once all the necessary settings have been completed, click on the Clean Now button to start the cleaning operation immediately.
Alternatively, you can use the Disk Cleanup utility , also present in older editions of Windows, which allows you to perform a deeper cleaning on all the disks installed in your computer: you can find out how Disk Cleanup works in the dedicated section of this chapter to Windows 7 .
If you are looking for an even simpler solution that allows you to free up space on Windows in a couple of clicks, I suggest you evaluate BleachBit , a free and open source software that allows you to easily delete the “useless” elements on the disk .
To download it, connected to this website , click on the BleachBit portable item and wait for the .zip package containing the program to be downloaded to the disk; when the download is complete, extract the archive to a folder of your choice and start the bleachbit.exe file contained therein.
Once you have reached the main screen of the program, which lists the software and Windows components that store files, expand the elements on which you want to intervene (eg. Chrome , Windows Media Player , Windows Defender , etc.) and put the check mark next to the Temporary Files and Cache items , below each item.
I advise you to carefully evaluate what you are about to eliminate and to operate only on the bare minimum: intervening on certain elements could compromise the functioning of the program or the corresponding part of Windows. Then don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Having said that, once you have completed your selections, press the Preview button to view the list of files that will be deleted (together with the amount of space freed) and finally click on the Clean and Delete buttons to proceed. In some cases, at the end of the procedure, you may be asked to restart your computer.
Note : I strongly advise you not to download and use third-party cleaning programs, especially if they are free, not from well-established manufacturers, as they could carry other “bundled” software, as well as computer threats such as spyware and adware . Please, be careful!
How to delete temporary files from Windows 7
If you use Windows 7 (bad! It is an outdated operating system and needs to be updated ), you can count on Disk Cleanup , a tool built into the operating system that allows you to analyze the available storage space, looking for temporary files and other elements superfluous.
To start it, press the key combination Win + R on the keyboard, type the command cleanmgr.exeinside the box that appeared on the screen and press Enter ; when the utility opens, select the drive to clean using the drop-down menu that is proposed to you , click OK and wait for the preliminary analysis of the files to be completed.
Now, to perform a more complete cleaning, click on the Clean system files button , choose the disk on which to intervene again, click on the OK button and wait a few moments for the disk analysis to be completed.
When this happens, put the check mark next to the type of temporary files to be deleted (eg. Temporary Internet files, files in the Recycle Bin , Windows Update cache , old Defender definitions and so on) and press the OK and Delete buttons file , to start cleaning your computer. At the end of the procedure, you may be prompted for a system restart .
If you are not satisfied with the Disk Cleanup utility, you can try to take an even deeper action using the BleachBit software , which I already told you about in one of the previous sections of this chapter.
How to delete temporary files from Mac
And on Mac ? In this case, it will be useful to know that Apple, for its part, has designed the macOS operating system so that for optimal management of temporary files and the cache relating to applications and the operating system; however, if you prefer, you can manually delete the cached files, directly from the macOS Finder.
So, click on the Go resident item in the Mac menu bar, press on the word Computer and, once you reach the Finder window, double-click on the Macintosh HD disk and go to the System> Library> Caches path . Now, select all the files inside this last folder (only the files, I recommend and not the entire directory) and drag them to the Trash icon residing on the Dock bar .
Then, close the Finder window and, holding down the alt / option key on the keyboard, select the menu Go> MacOS Library ; now, open the Caches folder , select all the files inside it and drag them, once again, to the Trash .
We are almost there: right-click on the Trash icon , select the Empty Trash item from the menu that is proposed to you and, once the trashed cache has been deleted, restart the Mac .
As an alternative to the integrated solutions, you can use a specific application that can proceed with the elimination of temporary files – and, in general, of all superfluous elements on the Mac disk. Among those available, I recommend you try CleanMyMac X , a program that allows you to free up memory space by intervening on unnecessary files, as well as applying some optimizations for the operating system.
Basically, the free version of CleanMyMac X allows you to free up to 500MB of data; to overcome this limit, you must purchase the full version of the program, with prices starting from € 29.95 ; alternatively, you can get a license to use CleanMyMac X by subscribing to Setapp , a service that allows you to access a large catalog of paid applications for macOS, with a single subscription for the price of $ 9.99 / month ( more info here ).
Before proceeding with the cleaning through the application that I have just presented to you, I recommend that you make a backup of the Mac , to be restored in case of problems.
To get the free version of CleanMyMac X, connect to the program’s website , click on the download button located in the center of the page and, once the download is complete, open the .dmg package obtained, drag its icon to the macOS Applications folder and start the program (if necessary, press the Open button to authorize it to run for the first time).
Once this is done, answer in the affirmative to the various security warnings that are shown, accept the conditions of use of the software and take a look at the initial presentation of the software and click on the System item in the left sidebar of the program.
Now, provide permissions for full disk access by pressing the Allow Access button and following the directions you receive on the screen. After this step too, click on the Scan button and wait for the program to complete the memory analysis, looking for unnecessary files. Finally, you just have to click on the Clean button , to delete all unnecessary files detected, or if you check the elements and choose only those to be deleted, using the appropriate button. More info here .
How to delete temporary files from mobile
Do you want to delete temporary files from the memory of your mobile, in order to recover precious memory space? If this is your current need, you can follow the steps listed in the subsequent sections of this chapter.
How to delete temporary files from Android
If yours is a device with an Android operating system , you can delete temporary files (and more) quickly and safely, using the “standard” application loaded by the smartphone manufacturer, if provided for by your operating system.
To give you an example, on Xiaomi smartphones with MIUI operating system there is an app, called Cleaner , able to clean the memory of useless and / or superfluous files in no time: to start it, enter the app drawer , tap on the ‘ Security icon and then on the Cleaner button .
Now, is patient a few moments for the app analyzes the memory for temporary and, when fully scan file, affix a check mark next to the categories of items to erase: cache files , obsolete files , residual files , files in memory of app or APK packages .
Once you have selected the files to be deleted, well aware that the operation cannot be undone , tap the Clean button [XX MB / GB] and wait for the deletion of the files to be completed.
If your device does not have a similar function and you would like to download some third-party applications from the Play Store (or from any other store on your device), I must invite you to be careful, as there are very few cleaning apps that perform actually do their job correctly and, above all, safely.
Numerous applications for Android, in fact, are “passed off” as cleaning apps but in reality they do anything else: they are in fact designed to carry other harmful and heavy applications or, worse still, to infect the operating system with cyber threats. of any kind.
So, before downloading and installing a cleaning application, I recommend that you read the reviews left by users who have already tried it and carefully check the rating obtained.
For my part, I advise you to consider SD Maid , one of the safest (at least at the time of writing this guide) memory cleaning and optimization apps available on the Play Store and on alternative markets for Android.
SD Maid is available in two versions: a free one, capable of analyzing the memory in search of temporary and / or superfluous files, without however deleting them; and a Pro, which costs € 3.69 and bypasses the previous limitation.
To get the app, search for its name in the reference store of your device and, when you have found it, first tap on it and then on the Install and Open buttons , in order to start it. Once you have reached the main screen of SD Maid, press the Scan button , then click Next and provide the necessary permissions for the app to work, responding in the affirmative to the warnings that are offered to you.
Once the memory scan is complete, tap the Run Now and Run buttons to start the deletion of residual files from the apps , system and database ; if you have not yet purchased the full version of SD Maid, you will be asked to do so: then press the In-app purchase button , to proceed in the latter mode, or download the unlocking app directly from the Play Store , by pressing on the appropriate button.
For more information about cleaning temporary / useless files on Android , I refer you to reading the specific guide I made on the subject.
How to delete temporary files from iPhone
The operating system on the iPhone , called iOS , is natively equipped with efficient tools dedicated to the optimal management of the internal memory: among other things, these functions deal with deleting the temporary files (and useless elements) accumulated over time by the system. operational and from the apps, in a completely automatic way and without the user being aware of it.
In some cases, it may still be possible to manually delete the temporary files generated by some applications (not many, actually), during startup.
To check this possibility, open the iPhone Settings by tapping on the symbol of the gear resident on the Home screen or in the App Library of the device, tap the name of the application for which to clear the cache and, if you see the item Clean all start , move the corresponding lever from OFF to ON . More info here .
How to delete temporary files from the browser
To speed up Internet browsing, almost all navigation programs and apps store, in an area called cache , some temporary files relating to the websites you visit; over time, the space occupied by the cache could grow considerably, thus affecting the overall memory of the device in use. Below, I’ll explain how to clear temporary files from the cache of the most used browsers for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and iPadOS.
How to delete Google Chrome temporary files
If you use the Chrome browser for computers, the first thing you need to do is open the program in question and, once its home screen is displayed, click on the button (⋮) located at the top and select the items Other tools> Clear data navigation… from the menu that is proposed to you.
Once this is done, use the Time interval drop-down menu to define the period for which to delete the accumulated cache, put the check mark next to the item Cached images and files (always if you do not want to get rid of other elements as well, as for example the history) and click on the Clear data button , to finish everything.
On Chrome for smartphones and tablets , the procedure to follow is slightly different: after opening the app, touch the (⋮) button (on Android) or (…) (on iOS and iPadOS), tap on the Settings item located in the menu that appears and reach the Privacy and security / Privacy section . Now, tap on the word Clear browsing data , put the check mark next to the item Cached images and files and tap the Clear browsing data button , to finish. Read more here .
How to delete Mozilla Firefox temporary files
To get rid of the temporary files stored by Firefox for your computer , open the latter, click on the ☰ button located at the top and select the Settings item from the menu that appears.
Now, click on the Privacy and security option (on the side), locate the item Cookies and website data and press the Delete data … button , located in its correspondence. Finally, leave only the item Cached web content selected (unless you also want to get rid of cookies and other data relating to websites) and click on the Delete button . That’s all!
If, on the other hand, you use Firefox on your smartphone / tablet , after opening the app, touch the symbol (⋮) located at the bottom, tap on the Resident Settings item in the menu that opens, touch the Delete browsing data item located on the screen next and leave only the item related to Images and files saved in the cache selected (unless you want to delete other files as well). Finally, tap the Delete browsing data and Delete buttons and that’s it. Read more here .
How to delete Microsoft Edge temporary files
To delete the Edge temporary files for your computer , open the program in question, click on the […] button located at the top and select the Settings item from the menu that appears. Once you have reached the next tab, click on the word Privacy, search and resident services in the left sidebar, click on the Choose what to delete button and use the drop-down menu located in the new window that appears to choose the time interval for which to delete temporary files.
To conclude, put the check mark only next to the item Cached images and files (unless you are interested in also deleting additional elements, such as the history) and click on the Clear data button , to finish.
If, on the other hand, you use your smartphone or tablet , open the Microsoft Edge app , touch the button (…) visible in its entirety and press the Settings button (the one in the shape of a gear ) in the menu that appears. Now, go to the Privacy and security> Clear browsing data sections and select only the box relating to Cookies and site data . Finally, define the time interval on which to intervene using the drop-down menu located at the top and press the Clear data button to finalize everything.
Note : If you synced Edge to use a Microsoft account , some data will also be deleted from browsers / devices associated with the same profile.
How to delete Safari temporary files
To delete the temporary files stored in the cache of Safari on Mac , proceed as follows: after opening the browser, click on the Development menu located in the bar located at the top and select the item Empty the cache , to get rid of unnecessary elements.
Where the item Development was not immediately visible, instead go to the Safari> Preferences menu , click on the Advanced tab located in the screen that appears later and put the check mark next to the item Show Development menu in the menu bar . Read more here .
To clear the Safari cache on iPhone and iPad , touch the gear symbol located on the Home screen or in the App Library, in order to reach the device Settings , tap on the Safari item and press on the word Clear website data and history twice in a row. Read more here .
However, keep in mind that by doing so, not only the cache will be deleted but also the history and all other browsing data, both from the device in use and from any other device synchronized with the same Apple ID .
How to delete Internet Explorer temporary files
To delete the temporary files generated by Internet Explorer on Windows, start the aforementioned program by calling it from the Start menu of the operating system, click on the gear icon located at the top right (or on the Tools menu ) and choose the Internet Options item from the menu that appears.
Now, go to the General tab , click on the Delete button … located under the heading Browsing history and put the check mark only next to the items Temporary Internet files and website files and Cookies and website data , unless you want also get rid of other elements, such as history, data entered in forms, and so on. Finally, click on the Delete button located at the bottom right.