Prevent Windows 10 from emptying %temp%

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  1. Posts : 1,250
    Windows 10 Pro

    The behavior seen here is not a problem and there is no culprit. It is only some program doing exactly what it was designed to do. As the temporary file was created by Firefox it seems reasonable that Firefox itself would delete it. This is recommended behavior and most people would expect it. I certainly would. Not doing so would be seen by many as a security or privacy risk, and indeed it is. I would not expect any sort of setting to disable this.

    Temporary files are themselves a necessary evil and have some well known security issues. They really should be securely disposed of as quickly as possible after they are no longer needed. Unfortunately the user isn't in the best position to judge when that is. Windows delays deleting them because developers sometimes have different expectations of what "temporary" means and expect them to be available well beyond when they were created. Not recommended behavior but it happens.

    You really have no assurance that temporary files will survive beyond when they are no longer needed by the process that created them. It would be best to follow the advice of Barman58 and use other methods to obtain the information needed.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 983
    Windows 7/64 Professional

    When you do a Disk Cleanup and you still see left over temps their is a reason.
    Programs or Windows 10 needs and wants them.

    Once I understood that, I went on my way to worry about something else.

      My Computers

  3. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP

    One other thing as this is Firefox downloads we are discussing we assume. These will by default be located in the downloads folder, If you wish you can simply move the files to a more suitable folder for use later, and of course unless you delete them they will remain where placed .

    A better option, in my opinion, is to go into the settings and set Firefox to prompt you for where to save to on a file by file basis,

    When downloading a file that you know you intend to use again place it in a suitable folder in your user profile folder, Documents, images, videos, Downloads Etc, or even a specific Project folder
    For files that you are not sure of, you could follow my practice ...

    I keep a some folders on the Desktop - WIP, (Work in Progress), For processing, and New Stuff,

    I download files I Want to check out to the desktop and then at the end of a session I move them into one of the folders.

    Anything I decide is unlikely to be needed after the session I delete which of course sends them to the Recycle Bin. Which retains them until I decide to delete them.

    As the current tasks are completed the related contents of the desktop folders are transferred into the regular folders created for each "Project"

    That is a system that gives everything that is relying on searching through the Temp Files and uses the correct methods to get the best out of the Operating System

    This system can be modified in many ways but if you use the features of Windows like their real world office counterparts a file goes into a folder you keep things you are working with on your desk and others go into a filing cabinet (other folders by Project) if you do not want to keep something you bin it and it stays into the bin until you "take out The trash"
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  4. Posts : 13,959
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    The %temp% folder is used by Firefox and other browsers for everything except downloads. All web pages, images, pdfs you view, etc. Maybe that is the kind of data he's talking about, not normal downloads.
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  5. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP

    That's the reason that I mentioned the browser history - It's automatically sorted by date too, which is not always the case with temp files :)
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  6. Posts : 983
    Windows 7/64 Professional

    I do as Nigel does.

    I download files I Want to check out to the desktop and then at the end of a session I move them into one of the folders.
    I keep Firefox set (Never Remember History).

      My Computers

  7. Posts : 23
    Windows 10 x64, Pro
    Thread Starter

    If there was a way to change where "opened" files are cached in Firefox and other programs I agree that would solve the problem (e.g. I could just tell them to put them somewhere else like C:\SCRATCH). I do not see how that is possible (looking even on a program basis).
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP

    Firefox and other programs are storing temporary files exactly where they should be stored, they are temporary and transitory files and should be cleaned by the OS prevent issues

    All modern browsers store a complete history of each and every site visit They are stored in the programs history

    I no longer use Firefox after the release of 57 but have found the history useful myself in the past where I lost something I'd downloaded some weeks previously. One potential issue is that websites are by their nature transitory and finding a file / fragment of a web page in the temporary area of the local system has no guarantee that the data is still correct, Using history will take you back to the same site which will have up to date information and data.

    There are also sites and services such as Way Back When for when you must have outdated information.

    Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

    Top 5 Best Internet Archive Wayback Machine Alternative Sites
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