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, for example to be able to undo changes made to a file, or as a "shortcut" to access certain information more quickly. This includes the most recently opened file lists (technically called MRU), update backups, browser history, photo previews, and the list could go on and on. As mentioned above, the presence of this data on the computer is completely normal, however in some cases it is advisable delete temporary files to free up disk space or correct small malfunctions that may be encountered in daily use of the PC (eg failure to display preview images in the Resource Explorer or browser slowdowns). Let's see how it's done together, I assure you it's not difficult.
We will start with PCs equipped with Windows (the most popular operating system in the desktop field) and then move on to Macs and portable devices, i.e. smartphones and tablets animated by the Android operating system and the iOS operating system. If you are ready to get started, take five minutes of free time and implement the tips below. You will not regret.
How to Delete Temporary Files on Windows
Let's start by seeing how to delete temporary files on Windows. For this purpose it is possible to use various tools but I will examine only two of them: the disk cleaning utility included “standard” in all versions of the Microsoft operating system and the free CCleaner application. Both are super easy to use.
Disk Cleanup Utility
To start the disk cleanup tool in Windows, search for it in the Start menu (or Start Screen) of your PC and click on its icon. Then select the types of files to delete and first click on the button OK and then File deletion to start the data erasing process.
Typically, the disk cleaner application removes Internet Explorer browsing data, temporary files related to Windows error reporting, previews of photos and videos in the Resource Explorer, and temporary files from third-party applications parts (you can select each item with the mouse to find out in detail what it refers to).
To expand the functionality of the utility and also delete system data, such as non-critical Windows Defender files, click the button System file cleanup and wait for the software to restart by itself showing you the updated list of files to remove.
Please note: if there is more than one hard disk in your computer, when it starts up, the disk cleaning utility will ask you to indicate which drive to work on. You select the drive Windows is installed on (which should be C :).
CCleaner is a system maintenance software that allows you to free up space by deleting temporary files from the system, including those produced by third-party applications such as Chrome, Firefox, eMule, Nero and WinRAR that the disk cleaning utility included in Windows neglects. If you want to do a complete cleanup of temporary files, don't think twice and install it on your PC.
To download CCleaner on your computer, connect to the program's website and click on the item CCleaner.com collocata sotto the dicitura CCleaner Free. When the download is complete, open the CCleaner installation package (ccsetupxx.exe) and click on your button Yes. At this point, choose theItalian from the language selection menu (top right) and complete the setup by first clicking on Install and then Yes e Start CCleaner.
To start cleaning the system with CCleaner, first click on the button Start cleaning and then OK. If you want, you can also select the types of data to delete using the options in the left sidebar, but I don't recommend changing the default settings if you don't know where to put your hands.
Please note: the most recent versions of CCleaner include a function that monitors the system in real time to search for unnecessary files to be deleted from the PC. In my humble opinion this is a superfluous function. To disable it, go to the section Options> Monitoring of the program and remove the check from the items Enable monitoring e Enable system monitoring. For more information, see my guide on how to download and use CCleaner.
How to Delete Temporary Files on Mac
Well yes! Also on Mac it can be useful delete temporary files (or rather the cache files) to free up some disk space and solve some small malfunction of the computer. One of the best applications suitable for this purpose is OnyX which is completely free and offers a complete solution for macOS maintenance.
To download OnyX, connect to the application's website and click on the item for the operating system installed on your Mac (eg. OnyX 3.2.1 for macOS 10.12 Sierra if you are using macOS Sierra). Then open the software installation package and drag the OnyX icon into the folder Applications say macOS.
Once the main Onyx window appears, click on the button Delete and check the types of data to remove (eg. Start, 'International' preferences etc.). Then click on the button Run and wait for the data removal process to finish.
Temporary files are divided into several sections: System, User, Internet, Font, Reports e Various. To delete them all you have to select them tab by tab and click on the button each time Run. However, I advise you to leave only the default options active (unless you know very well where to put your hands). To find out in detail what each program option refers to, click on the button ? which is at the bottom left.
You can learn more about the operation of OnyX (not only as regards the deletion of temporary files) by reading my guide on cleaning the Mac.
How to Delete Temporary Files on Android
As mentioned at the beginning of the post, temporary files also accumulate on smartphones and tablets and therefore it is good to know how to remove them from these devices as well. As for the world Android, there are several apps to delete temporary files, indeed there is really spoiled for choice. I recommend these two.
- SD Maid - is one of the best apps to clear temporary files on Android. It allows you to delete the "orphaned" files of the apps that are no longer present on the device, the system temporary files, the temporary files of the third-party apps (function available only in the Pro version of the app which costs 2,79 euros) and reduces the space occupied by app databases such as Spotify and Dropbox. To use it, just start it, press the button Scan and wait a few seconds until all the files to be deleted are identified (which can be deleted with a simple "tap" on the Run now. To get the most out of SD Maid it is advisable to root Android.
- CCleaner - this is the Android version of CCleaner, the program for deleting temporary files that I told you about before in Windows. It is completely free and works perfectly even without root. Clear cache, browsing history, temporary app files and more. To use it, all you have to do is press the button Analyze, select the elements to be removed and confirm.
If you need more information, check out my tutorial on how to free up Android disk space where I told you about SD Maid, CCleaner and other useful apps to free up memory space on Android devices.
How to Delete Temporary Files on IPhone and IPad
Devices equipped with the iOS operating system, ie iPhone e iPad they are less prone to the problem of the accumulation of temporary files and, among other things, allow to counter it in a less free way.
If you want to "lighten" the memory of your iPhone or iPad, there are no special apps that you can use. The only thing you can do is get up to speed and analyze on a case-by-case basis what applications may contain unnecessary files. In this regard, I invite you to read my tutorials on how to free up space on iPhone and how to free up space on iPad in which I have collected all the best tips on how to free the memory of Apple devices from superfluous files.