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How to Recover Deleted Temp Files on Windows 10

6 min read

Reading Time: 6 minutesTemp files can protect your files in the event that a program crashes since they can be used to recover data. However, they can be unintentionally deleted which could spell disaster. Here, we will give you an overview of what exactly temp files are, discuss where they can be found, and show you the most effective methods of recovering temp files.

What Is a Temp File?

Temp files back up information so that it can be recovered in the event that a program crashes. They can also act as temporary storage locations if there isn’t enough memory available for an application to complete a task. This is a protection feature that is built into Windows and can save us in a pinch.

I’m sure many of us have experienced being able to recover a Microsoft Office document after an unfortunate crash. This is thanks to temp files keeping our data backed up. They are usually deleted after the application that created them is closed, but if they are deleted prematurely, this may result in data loss.

Location of Temp Files in Windows 10

Accessing temp files is straightforward in Windows 10. They are stored in one of two locations in Windows 10. These are:

  • C:\Windows\Temp
  • C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp

Simply browse to either of these locations using Windows Explorer if you want to view temporary files.

temp files location

Another option for opening C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp is by pressing Win + R and running the %temp% command.

command temp files

While these are the 2 default locations for the temp folder in Windows, there are other possibilities too. The temp folder can be moved by carrying out the following steps:

Step 1. Browse to System and Security in the Control panel.

System and security

Step 2. Next, browse to System.

System settings

Step 3. In System, go to Advanced system settings.

Advanced system settings

Step 4. Now, in the window that pops up, go to the Advanced tab and select Environment Variables.

Environment Variables

Step 5. In both the User variables and System variables section, you will need to edit both the TEMP and TMP variables.

TEMP and TMP variables

Sep 6. You will need to edit the Variable value field that shows up after selecting Edit to reflect the path that you want to be your new temporary file location.

new temporary file location

How to Recover Temporary Files in Windows 10

If you delete temporary files in Windows 10, one of the most effective options that you have for recovering them is using data recovery software. Data recovery software allows you to recover files even if they are deleted from your computer’s recycle bin or ‘permanently deleted’.

One of the best data recovery applications available on the market is Disk Drill because it is easy to use while offering professional-level functionality. It can recover more than 400 different file types and even has backup functionality. This means that if you needed to, you could even recover an Excel temp file.

Recovering Temporary Files in Windows 10 with Disk Drill

To use Disk Drill to recover deleted temp files, follow these steps:

Step 1. To get started, download Disk Drill and install it on your computer. On opening Disk Drill, you will be asked for admin permissions so that Disk Drill is able to run its advanced data recovery algorithms. After opening Disk Drill, select the drive that you want to recover from and then select All Recovery Methods. All Recovery Methods tries all of Disk Drill’s recovery algorithms to ensure that you find as many files as possible but it does take longer than just using one algorithm.

Select recovery method

Step 2. Next, you can select Search for lost data. This will start the search process and let you begin searching for the temp files you’re looking for.

Search for lost data

Step 3. After the scan is done, you’ll be presented with a list of files that can be recovered. This even includes hidden temporary files. You will likely have to search under the Other category for temporary files.

Select files for recovery

Step 4. After reviewing the files, you can choose the ones that you want to recover and then hit the Recover button. Disk Drill will display a confirmation message letting you know if the recovery was successful or not.

Recover selected files

Recovering Temporary Files in Windows 10 Using File History

You can also use the File History feature built into Windows to recover your deleted files. However, you will need to have added the temporary file folders to your backup. Here, we will walk through both the setup of file history, so that you can have this as a recovery option in the future if so desired, and how to restore deleted files if needed.

Setting Up File History in Windows 10

To get started with File History, carry out the following steps:

Step 1. First, open the Settings app in Windows 10 and go to Update & Security.

Update and Security

Step 2. Now, from the sidebar on the left, select Backup.


Step 3. Now, you will need to select the drive that you want to use for backing up your files. Select Add a drive to do this.

Add backup drive

Step 4. After completing this, switch on automatic backups with File History by toggling on the Automatically back up my files option.

Automatically backup files

Step 5. To ensure that your temp file locations are included in your File History backups, while in the Backup section of the Settings app, go to More Options and select Add a folder. Add your temp file locations.

Add folder to backup

Restoring Temp Files Using File History

If you have File History set up on your computer with your temp file folder included, then you can restore temp files if needed. Follow these steps to restore temp files with the File History feature:

Step 1. Open the Settings app and then go to Update & Security > Backup. Select Restore files from a current backup.

File histoty restore settings

Step 2. You can now browse to your temp file folders and you will be able to select the files that you want and then choose to restore them. After selecting the files that you want to restore, click the green Restore button.

Select files to restore


Wrapping Up

It can be easy to overlook the importance of temporary files. They back up information temporarily whenever we use an application. They can also be used as a kind of overflow if there isn’t enough memory available when running an application. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to deal with deleted temp files, data recovery software can help you recover them.