ArcGIS Temp Files

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10-09-2018 10:54 AM
TimSwirka
New Contributor

I am the I.T. Manager for an engineering firm that also has an Environmental / GIS Dept. Over the past 12 years I have had several employees using ArcGIS ranging from version 3.3 through 9.x and then 10.x. We are currently on 10.6.1. For years all the ArcGIS users saved the ArcGIS related temp files that were written to the Windows temp folder. I was given an explanation as to why this was being done but I was never fully able to wrap my head around it. The questions I am posing are:

1. Is there any reason to save these files and for what reason?

2. Is this something that was necessary in older versions of ArcGIS and not necessary now?

My concern is if I get rid of these files then the existing project files (12 years worth) would either be inaccessible or incomplete. 12 years worth of temp files are also taking up a ton of space on my servers so I would like to get rid of them if I can.

I am not an ArcGIS user (which is probably obvious) so any guidance or info would be appreciated.

Thanks

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4 Replies
ChadKopplin
Regular Contributor

Tim,

There should be no reason to keep the temp files, once and install, process, or upgrade is complete, then it should be OK.   I have not heard of any reason, and you mention the amount of space taken up by temp files.  Generally the temp files would be copies of files being run in a process as an example.  We these kinds of files out there this could be false data, once you have an updated file or your processed file becomes the new production file for you.

TimSwirka
New Contributor

Hi Chad,

Thaks for the reply. I did a little digging and found out some more info. I opened one of our old projects from 2004. I looked at the layers and found a layer that had its location pointing to the folder that has our temp files. I've attached a screenshot to show you what I'm talking about. Notice the location. Apparently the layer files existed in the temp folders on the users local machines and the temp folders were copied (dumped) to a central location on our server so the layer information would be saved.

So the layer information was not actually in the folder with the maps, it was in the Windows temp folder. I don't know why it was done this way, and in talking with the current ArcGIS users here it is not being done this way now. Have you ever heard of this? Regardless, I think the mystery has been solved.

Thanks for your help.

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Mehretab
Occasional Contributor

Yes temp files can be deleted. in fact it is a good practice to clear them regularly. I do not understand though why ArcGIS Server is allowed to create temp files that do not get deleted, after a process/file transfer is complete.

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TimSwirka
New Contributor

Yes, I understand the importance of keeping TEMP folder cleared. However, referring to the screenshot above, the files in the TEMP folder are actual shape files that are part of the map. So if I delete these files then the layers in the drawing will disappear. As I previously stated, I had several ArcGIS users that did it this way. Unfortunately none of them work here any longer so I can't ask them why they did it this way.

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