MS Word temporary files


May 11, 2008
Most folders I use for saving MS Word documents have several hidden temporary files. There are two types - one type named ~WRL****.tmp and the other ~$<part of file name>. I know that they are created when a Word file is open and go away when it's closed - most of them time.

I know this is not a new issue but I've found only conflicting answers on the net.

Some sources say that they are left behind when Word doesn't close properly and can be safely deleted. Some warn that these temporary files are vital and that the app will not work properly if these files are deleted. Still others simply advise making them invisible with Folders View (to me this last option is no solution at all).

I'm inclined to think that these files can be safely deleted and that the only possible use for them would be to recover deleted documents. And I think I must have deleted them in the past without any undesirable effect, but I'd like to be certain.

Can anyone please give a categorical answer?
Here is what you do, copy them to a different location, open Word. If it works, then you don't need those files. If Word does not open or has errors, copy files back, set them to hidden again and forget they exist.


Nov 9, 2012
If you are unsure, you can use a junk file cleaning software like Ccleaner. It will clean the unnecessary files from your PC.

But as far as I know, these files are safe to delete. Just make sure you don't have any document open while deleting