Windows 11 creates a lot of empty folders in a System32 directory
Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system creates many empty folders in a System32 directory just like the Windows 10 operating system. When you check the folder, you might notice empty tmp folders in the directory.
A Windows 11 test system had 100 empty temporary folders in the directory, but some users reported that they had thousands of empty directories in the folder.
Here’s how to check if the folders exist on your Windows 11 and Windows 10 devices:
- Open File Explorer.
- Navigate to C: Windows System32 config systemprofile AppData Local. Note that Windows may display a warning prompt when you try to open system directories, but you should be able to continue.
Some folders may be hidden, and you may need to enable the display of hidden operating system files.
In Windows 10, you select View> Options in File Explorer, go to View, and make sure “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” is selected and “Hide protected operating system files (recommended) ) ”Is not checked.
In Windows 11, you select Menu (three dots)> Options and follow the instructions for Windows 10.
Folders start with tw and end with .tmp. When you open them, you will notice that they do not contain any files. The problem has been known since at least 2019 according to a report on Ask Woody, but it could go back even further than that.
Günter Born suggests that the temporary folders be created by the Provisioning Package Runtime Processing tool, filename ProvTool.exe. The tmp folders can be deleted and the deletion appears to have no negative impact on the system.
The bug is not critical in most cases. Empty folders do not take up much disk space and do not interfere with the operation of the system. Still, it looks like they are leftovers and some users might want to delete these temporary folders, especially if the number was above the ten thousand mark on their devices.
The bug again shows that Windows 11 is very similar to Windows 10, and that the bugs that affected Windows 10 are likely affecting Windows 11 as well.