08 Jan 2017
Self-cleaning ’tmp’ directory in Windows
I’ve recently migrated from Ubuntu 14 to Windows 10. One feature that I really
missed on Windows is the
tmp/ directory that automatically cleans itself up
upon reboot. On Ubuntu, I used
tmp/ instead of my Downloads folder and it
worked great. Here’s how I’ve achieved the same behaviour on my Windows system.
The target, the job
First, created my self-cleaning directory. Set it up under
Next, I created a script that would execute the cleaning. Under Ubuntu, the
entire command would be
rm -Rf <directory>. It turns out that using basic
Windows shell for this task is not so great, so I decided to use PowerShell.
Here’s the entire script:
I’ve used the Task Scheduler app bundled with Windows to schedule the script. To create the task, fire up the Task Scheduler, then go Action -> Create Basic Task…. I used the following parameters:
- Trigger: When I log on
- Action: Start a Program
When asked for Program/Script, enter
Under Add arguments (optional), enter
Finally, change the executing user to
SYSTEM. Find your task in the Task
Scheduler Library, right-click and select Properties….
Under Security options, click on Change User or Group…. After entering
SYSTEM and closing the dialog, your Properties window should look like this:
That should be all. You can test the script right from the Task Scheduler (use the Actions pane on the right). If the script doesn’t seem to run on login (but works when executed manually), you can enable task history to de-bug.