How to change the location of TEMP files to another drive

For some reason or another, you may want to change the location or drive that TEMP files are stored in. TEMP files are just that: temporary files containing temporary information while a new file is being made. In some cases, they can take up a good chunk of space, which can be a problem if you use an SSD as your primary drive to load your operating system or other programs faster than a mechanical hard drive traditionally would.

With that in mind, you might want to reserve that SSD space for something more important. So, we’re going to show you how you can get your TEMP files to save themselves on a different drive. Be sure to follow along below.

Moving your TEMP files to a different drive

First, you’ll want to open up the Start menu and type in Control Panel. You’ll want to press Enter to open the menu. From there, you’ll want to select the System property.

Next, select Advanced system properties in the left-hand pane.

Now, we’ll want to navigate to the Advanced tab and select the Environment variables button. This opens up the Environment Variables menu.

It’s worth noting that any changes we make in this menu are user-reliant. In other words, any changes we make here is only going to take affect for the current user. If you have multiple users on your account, you’ll need to follow these steps again for each user.

Under the User variables section, we’re going to edit both TEMP and TMP variables. You’ll want to select one of them and press the Edit button. From there, you’ll get the Edit User Variable menu.

You can press the Browse Directory button to change the directory that TEMP/TMP files are stored to. Or, if you already know the file path, you can simple enter that in the Variable value field. Again, you’ll need to repeat this process for both TEMP and TMP variables.



And that’s all there is to it! Now all of your temporary files will save to the new directory you pointed the variables to save to. Keep in mind that, in order for these changes to take affect, you’ll need to fully restart Windows.

If you got stuck or need some additional help, be sure to leave a comment below or join us over in the PCMech Forums!


  1. da bunny rabbit says:

    (Relocating Temp file) I was doing great until I found I had no “Browse” available under the edit menu for the “TEMP” variable. Then I found your instructions to be for Windows 10…. I’m using Windows 7 Prof. Svc Pk 1. Not even close to being a “PC” pro… I stopped there and here I am. I use a 120GB SSD card for my operating sys primary drive and want to move my “Temp ” files to my 1TB WD storage Drive (lettered “A” … because I wanted it at top of the drive menu). Be kind, I’m 70 yrs old and in over my head. This is the first PC I’ve ever assembled on my own: ASUS M5A78L-M Motherboard, AMD FX-6350 3.9 GHz 6-Core Processor, 16 GB Ram, ASUS HD7770 Graphics, ASUS Xonar DG Audio and Windows rated at 7.3 Experience Index… if this info helps. oh.. and mounted in a mid tower case with cool blue lights. So how do I get my temp files to the “A” drive???

    • Brad Ward says:

      You don’t have to have to use the browse button to change the drive. If you want, you can just manually type in your filepath under that Edit User Variable tab. So, in your case, you could just list the variable value as A:\ or A:\Program Files\ or something like that. 🙂

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