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TMP File

TMP file is used to store temporary data. Similar to DAT file it is frequently unknown what is stored inside TMP file because it was created by changing file extension from the original one to TMP.

TMP files are used by operating system or software application to store information which is not currently used. TMP files are deleted when they are no longer needed.

Temporary files could be used for multiple purposes. Below are just some of them:

  • Backup data and restore it when application crashes. Many applications store user information to disk prior to performing certain operations with it to make sure that data could be restored if application crashes. For the same reason many applications perform auto-save to the disk which also creates a temporary snapshot of the user data to use in case of a crash.
  • Accumulate processed data in a temporary file. When data processing is complete data from it is moved to a final destination or a next processing phase. A good example of this case is partial download files which are created by browsers when large file is being downloaded. As download proceeds new information is appended to a partial download file and when download process is complete partial file is renamed to its final name.
  • Store data which is too large to be stored in computer RAM memory. TMP file is used to accumulate data and then process it sequentially only loading to RAM information which is necessary at the current moment.
  • Reduce memory used by an application. Many modern applications generate significant amount of information. For example, video processing applications work with very large files and need to store significant part of these files in memory. Offloading part of the data to temporary files help reduce load on the memory.
  • Operating system creates its own temporary file called swap file. This file is used to store chunks of memory which are not currently being used. This allows operating system to more effectively store data in RAM and offload unnecessary data to disk.
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