Can I Delete This Nonsense?

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  1. Posts : 34,992
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    There have been previous reports of folders with similar names- albeit in a different location e.g.

    Some attribute these to a MS provisioning tool.

    If you wish to determine exactly what is creating these, you might try using Sysinternals ProcMon with a suitable filter. Perhaps not for the fainthearted.

    There are tools that can monitor folders for specific changes, but won't help identifying what caused the change.
    5 Of The Best Tools To Monitor Folder For Changes In Real-time
      My Computers

  2. Posts : 1,503

    I never knew about that folder, either. I had a bunch of empty folders there, too. 1350 of them.

    All of them were empty. Now they've been deleted. Simple.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 266
    Windows 10 Home 21H2

    AddRAM said:
    Mine says it`s 3.97 MB if I hover over it. If I open the folder Properties it says it`s 31.5 MB

    Anyone else find it strange that the 2 amounts are different ??

    Actually I find strange the fact that your date of creating those files and mine are exactly the same - Dec, 7th 2019. Which makes me think that they are needed somehow. If they were normal temporary files they should come and go randomly in time.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 1,058
    Windows 10 Pro (+ Windows 10 Home VMs for testing)

    vanp said:
    The folder C>Windows>System32>config>systemprofile>AppData>Local contains, among other things, almost 2,700 folders with names like tw-1a48-1754-80170ca.tmp. Far as I can tell, all the folders are empty and were created this year or last year. Also, notice the 'tmp' at the end of the name. They don't seem to me to be treated as temporary.

    Can I safely delete these things? I don't want to hear boilerplate stuff like they don't take much space or it's best not to mess with 'system' stuff like this. They seem to be utterly useless, and are garbage, if so. Please resist the urge to preach at me. Just a knowledgeable, definitive answer to the question at the beginning of this paragraph is all I'm looking for.
    There have been many posts about these tw-***.tmp folders here and on other forums.

    The folders are created by two 'provisioning' tasks run at logon, executed using provtool.exe.

    You can either disable the tasks or just delete the folders. I've been doing the former on my own devices and the latter on my family and friends' devices with no harmful effects for nearly two years now.

    A VBS script to delete them can be found here on TenForums and a similar PowerShell script can be found on AskWoody. In both cases the scripts need to be run as administrator.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by RickC; 06 May 2021 at 06:04.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 7,457
    Windows 10 Home 20H2

    vanp said:
    Can I safely delete these things?
    Consider copying them onto an external drive before deleting them. If anything untoward happens, put them back.

    vanp said:
    Local contains, among other things, almost 2,700 folders
    What is the size of your "Local" folder? Mine is only 10.35 MB as shown below.

    Can I Delete This Nonsense?-local-folder.jpg
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  6. Posts : 4,585
    Windows 10 Pro

    This reminds me of the windows update log files, they just keep building and building, even though I use Windows Automatic Update Manger to search for updates manually.

    It`s been a ritual for me personally, to delete them and the contents of the Download folder in the Software Distribution folder every time I use either PC.

    I guess it`s something to look for in Task Scheduler.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 1,503

    Yes, you can delete 'em. But you can also ignore them, right?
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 7,457
    Windows 10 Home 20H2

    I will ignore them unless their sizes are large.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 1,249
    Windows 10 Pro

    I don't know what those folders are there for. Their presence appears to make no sense. But I don't trust my perceptions.
    Because I know of things that initially seem to make no sense actually make a great deal of sense when you understand.

    There is a great deal about Windows, or any modern OS, that is undocumented. This is for a very good reason. Once something is documented developers will use this information in their programs. Developers have proven to be VERY ingenious with this kind of thing and using the information in ways that were never expected. The problems is that the OS designers are then committed to maintaining this behavior indefinitely. If this were to change in anew OS or OS update, even in a seemingly insignificant way, the application may break.

    My strongly held belief is that anything in the Windows folder or it's sub-folders should be regarded as look but don't touch unless you have a REALLY good reason for doing so. That some folders have what appear to be strange names or you don't know what they are there for is not sufficient reason to delete them. I would not delete these folders even if a highly respected member of this forum advised it.

    I am by no means a novice. My experience with Windows goes back more than 20 years and I have been using other systems since the 1970's.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 183
    W10 Pro v21H1 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Thanks to everybody who has responded. I also asked about this on MS's forum. One of their 'experts' said the folders are from the 'provisioning' (had to look that up) process and can safely be deleted. I'll do that this weekend unless something happens in the meantime to change my mind.
      My Computer


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