The .tmp files or the temporary files are a great way to protect and recover your valuable data in the event of a software crash. Whether your application crashes while writing a draft or editing a video, the .tmp files will keep the data safe so you can restore it later. However, even they are not fool-proof. Accidentally deleting temporary files is one of the biggest headaches for Windows 10 users. What’s more, if the data is related to some important documents, it can spell serious disaster. That begs the question — is there a way to recover .tmp files?
Of course, there is. In this article, we’re going to explain what .tmp files are, where to find them, and how to get them back if you erase them by accident. Let’s dive in.
What are the .tmp Files?
The .tmp files or temporary files generally act as a backup to help you restore crucial information if one or multiple programs suddenly crash. It can also work as a temporary storage location for any application if your computer doesn’t have the memory to execute a task. In other words, it’s an emergency lifesaver for Windows 10 users. The files with a .tmp extension keep a backup of your applications and Microsoft Office documents. Therefore, even if your program crashes in the middle of presentation creation, using them lets you retrieve your progress before the crash.
These temporary files usually vanish on their own after you extract data from them. That brings us to a common question. What happens when they get accidentally removed before you’re done restoring your data? Does that mean you have lost the data forever? Fortunately, that’s not the case. You can recover .tmp files that are deleted and even make a backup to keep them safe. Before we dive into it, let us show you where you can find your temporary files on a Windows 10 device.
Where Can You Find .tmp Files in Windows 10?
The file with a .tmp extension or a temporary file can be situated in one of these two locations:
You can use File Explorer to navigate to one of these two locations to find the temporary files. You can also locate temporary files using the following steps:
- Press the “Windows + R” keys on your keyboard to open the “Run” command box.
- In the text box, type %temp%.
- Click on the “OK” button or press the “Enter” key. This way, you can easily open the folders filled with temporary files.
Moving the .tmp File Folder
The two locations above are places where you can usually find them. After all, the files with a .tmp extension are saved there by default. That doesn’t mean that these two are the only locations where the temporary files can stay. In Windows 10, you can easily move these files to a location of your choice. Follow the steps below to move your temporary files and the .tmp folder to another location.
- In the “Search Bar,” type “Control Panel” and press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.
- Once the “Control Panel” window opens, click on the “System and Security” option.
- In the next menu, click on the “System” option.
- Next, click on the “Advanced system settings” on the right side of the new window. A new window, “System Properties,” will pop up.
- In the new window, click on the “Advanced” tab and then click on the “Environment Variables” button.
- The “Environment Variables” window will pop up. You will see TEMP and TMP variables under both “System variables” and “User variables.”
- Now, click on the “Edit” buttons of both the user and system variables and change the path of TMP and TEMP variables as you wish.
- Once you change the path and click on the “OK” button, the .tmp file folder and the files inside will move to the new location.
Recover .tmp Files
There are two major ways you can restore the .tmp files. You can either use file recovery software or you can rescue them via File History in Windows 10. The data recovery software will allow you to restore most of the erased files, even if they’re not in the Recycle Bin. First, let us show you how to use the File History to back up and rescue any temporary file.
Restore .tmp files Using File History
To use this method, you need to set up the File History to keep a backup of your temporary files. This way, even if your temporary files get removed by accident, you can still retrieve them without leaning on data restoration software. In this section, we will show you how to use the File History to reclaim .tmp files.
Set up File History on Your Windows 10 Device
Follow the steps below to set up the File History:
- Press the “Windows + I” keys on your keyboard to open the “Settings” app.
- Next, click on the “Update & Security” option.
- After that, click on “Backup” on the left panel.
- Next, click on the “Add Drive” option. A prompt will pop up showing your available drive options.
- Choose the drive of your choice from the list of available online drives. The drive you choose will be used to back up your .tmp files.
- After that, toggle on the “Automatically backup my files” options.
- To ensure that your temporary files will be backed up, navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Backups > More Options > Add folders and pick the .tmp file locations.
Once you finish the steps above, you will be able to set up File History successfully to automatically backup your temporary files.
Begin the Recovery of .tmp Files
Once you set up the File History using the method above, all files will be backed up to the drive of your choice. Now, if the temporary files from your computer ever get deleted before you retrieve the data from them, you can simply recover .tmp files using File History.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Press the “Windows + I” keys on your keyboard to open the “Settings” app.
- Next, click on the “Update & Security” options and then click on the “Backup” in the left panel.
- Now, click on the “Restore files from a current backup” option.
- Once the new window opens, you can browse your temporary files.
- Select the files you want to restore and click on the round “Restore” button.
With this, the .tmp file will be retrieved to their designated folders of your computer.
Recover Temporary Files Using Third-party Data Recovery Software
Not everyone sets File History backup as a precaution for the .tmp files. And when they realize its importance, it’s usually already too late. In these cases, you can only use third-party data retrieval software to recover .tmp files that are already deleted from your device. Most of the data restoration software from reputable companies has a similar user interface. Thus, if you’re planning to use it, regardless of which, you can follow the steps below to recover .tmp files:
- First, download and install a Windows data rescue software from a company with a good reputation.
- When you open the software for the first time, it may ask for the “Admin permission.” Grant it admin permission to start recovering your data.
- Next, if the software you have downloaded has multiple recovery method, select “All recovery methods” option. If there’s no such option, skip to the next step.
- Click on the “Search for lost data” button.
- The software will now scan and discover erased files. Unsurprisingly, it will take a while for the scan to finish.
- After scanning is complete, click on the “Other” option in the left panel to find the .tmp files.
- After you review the files, tick the checkboxes of the files you want to recover and click on the “Recover all” button.
It might take a few seconds or a few minutes to get your files back, depending on the file size. Once that’s done, you can pick a file path or find your .tmp files in their original location.