Microsoft KB Archive/44880

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Definition of Windows Temporary Files


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows versions 2.03, 2.1, 2.11, 3.0, 3.0a, 3.1, 3.11

A Windows "temporary" file is created under these circumstances:

  • Windows Desktop (Write, etc.) and MDI (multiple document interface) applications (such as Excel) create temporary files to handle necessary user editing.

Because a Desktop application cannot have multiple documents open at once, it must immediately create a temporary file that allows you to "undo" any editing, etc. MDI applications create temporary files only when needed (for related editing), rather than for every worksheet that is open.

  • When running an MS-DOS standard application under Windows/286, Windows/286 creates a temporary file (for example, ~PIFCHFA.TMP) so it can swap to disk to make room for other applications to use memory.
  • When printing from Windows or any Windows application with the spooler enabled, Windows creates temporary files on the hard disk. Windows spools the print job to the temporary file and then sends it to the appropriate printer as a background operation.

Microsoft recommends that there be approximately 2 MB of free disk space available for the creation of temporary files.

Additional query words: 2.0 2.03 2.1 2.10 2.11 3.0 3.00 3.1 3.10 win31 3.11 3.00a

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Technology : kbWin3xSearch kbWin203 kbWin210 kbWin211 kbWin300 kbWin300a kbWin310 kbWin311

Last Reviewed: December 16, 2000
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