All You Need To Know About the .tmp File Extension

Purpose of .tmp files

The .tmp file extension refers to temporary files that are created by various applications to hold temporary data.

There can be two types of temporary files; each one is discussed in detail below:

Cache .tmp files – The cache .tmp files are created automatically by a program when it requires additional memory space.

Backup .tmp files – Like cache .tmp files, the backup .tmp files are also automatically created by a program. Backup .tmp files are created by applications to store data temporarily or to recover data in case of an abrupt interruption, such as a system crash.

How to identify a temporary file

You can identify a temporary file by the .tmp extension after the file name.

Are .tmp files automatically deleted by the software that created it?

Typically, yes. When a temporary file has served its purpose, the software that created it automatically deletes it. In certain situations, such as software or system crashes, temporary files may stay put on your PC, even when they are no longer required. If the software is designed poorly then too it may fail to delete all the .tmp files that it creates.

Utility of .tmp files to a user

In case of a software or system crash, a user can use .tmp files to recover the data that was not saved before the crash. Many programs write periodic information to temporary files. Typically, when a program or computer crashes the temporary files are not deleted from the hard disk and can be used to recover files that were not saved prior to the crash.

How to identify which application a particular temporary file belongs to

It is very difficult to ascertain to which application a particular temporary file belongs to. There are two tips that you can use to identify the software that created a particular .tmp file:

Open the .tmp file in a text editor – If the .tmp file contains any plain text, then by using this method you may be able to determine the software that created it.

Location of the .tmp file – .tmp file’s location may also give you an indication of the software that created it.

Which programs can open .tmp files on Windows?

If you use Windows, you can open a .tmp file with any of the following programs:

  • Microsoft Word 2007
  • Web browser, such as Internet Explorer

If you require but are unable to open .tmp files, then you may also use the FileCure software to access a .tmp file and recover data from it.