Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Windows maintains a location where programs can put temporary files. Sometimes you might want to change that location, and it's fairly easy to do so.
In what I do, I have to handle pretty large files all the time. In my setup, I have 3 hard disks:
C: which is meant to only run windows and barely has any space on it left after XP was installed.
D: which is where I store all my files.
E: where I want my temporary files to be.
How would you go about changing the location of the temp folder to E:/ in Windows XP?
Aside from your small C: partition, you're describing a reasonably good set up. By moving your temporary files to E: you should not only get an improvement in available space on C:, but things might also speed up just a tad.
First, I want to be clear to everyone that we're not talking about Internet Explorer's temporary files. Those are controlled by settings in Internet Explorer's options. Similarly, many applications also allow you to specify alternate locations for temporary files used by that application.
We're talking about Windows itself.
Windows has a concept of a directory where it, and other applications if they so choose, can place files that are for temporary use only.
Fire up a Windows Command Prompt, (typically in Start, All Programs, Accessories), and in that windows type SET followed by the Enter key. Windows will list a number of what are called "environment variables" that make various types of information available to running programs. Two of them will look much like this:
TMP and TEMP both specify the directory to be used for temporary files. Both TMP and TEMP are used for compatibility reasons. In this example they actually specify "C:\Documents and Settings\LeoN\Local Settings\Temp", but in 8.3 compatibility representation.
Changing them is easy.
Right click on My Computer and click on Properties. In the resulting dialog click on the Advanced tab and you should see something like this:
Click on the button near the bottom labeled Environment Variables, and you'll see something like this:
You may see both TMP and TEMP listed in the section labeled User variables for (account). That's the common location; each different login account is assigned its own temporary location.
Personally, I prefer to have a single location for the entire system. So if TMP and TEMP are present in the top list, I click on each and then click on Delete. However you can simply edit them, as we're about to edit the System copies, if you prefer.
If you scroll down in the bottom list labeled System Variables you'll find TMP and TEMP again. Click on one, and then press the Edit button:
In the Variable value: edit box you can now specify a path to a directory that Windows and many other programs should use for temporary files. As you can see, I've specified a different directory entirely, but still on the C: drive. You could specify "E:\" to use all of E: as your temporary location, but I'd actually recommend creating a subdirectory on E:, such as perhaps "E:\temp" and using that, as some programs can get confused if the temp directory is set to the root of a drive.
Be sure and repeat that process for both TMP and TEMP.
You'll need to restart any running programs for the new value to take effect. In fact, you'll need to restart Windows for it to begin using the new value for its own temporary files.
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