Automatically Clean Up Temporary ASP.NET Files

The Problem

One of the test environments I help maintain is subject to dynamic and regular changes in .NET applications. The development team are constantly releasing new builds that are slightly different.

You may not be aware that .NET applications go through a compilation process when they first start up. I’ve also been told on application pool recycle however I haven’t confirmed this. However, after the application has been removed or updated, the compilation temporary files remain. On a test environment similar to my above scenario, a total of 50GB of disk space can be easily wasted, doing nothing. So if you’re in a similar scenario, you may need to routinely clean up these files.

I know of four locations where these files can build up:

  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\Temporary ASP.NET Files
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v1.1.4322\Temporary ASP.NET Files
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files

If you application pools run in 64bit mode, you’ll find the “Framework64” locations more applicable. If your application pools use 32bit mode, you’ll need to consider the “Framework” locations.

Below is an example of a production environment using nearly 13GB:

Powershell Script to Automatically Delete Temp Files

As system administrators, we need to automate and script our workload so we can focus on the important stuff! So we devised a simple implementation of Powershell script which takes care of this clean up problem in one line:

Get-ChildItem “C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework*\v*\Temporary ASP.NET Files” -Recurse | Remove-Item -Recurse

If you’re reading this and thinking, EWWWW Powershell. Don’t mock it until you try this single line command.

I saved the above command into a file names CleanUpASPNETTempFiles.ps1 and saved it to D:\Tools\. Name and save yours as you see fit.

To take a load off, you can schedule this script with a scheduled task. You can click on these screenshots if you need more detail:

(I opted to run on the first Saturday of the month. Use your own preferences.)

(My powershell.exe was at %SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe)

(Note you need to tick the option box to get to the next screenshot or load the properties on the newly created task.)

Execution Policy Errors

If you’re being told to sign your newly created script, you can either do that for high security environments or you can turn off the signing requirement. It’s great to have this option build into the language but in the typical environment I’ve found it a burden.

In a Powershell command window, type the following to check your current ExecutionPolicy:

Get-ExecutionPolicy

You can change it to Unrestricted by typing:

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

A Few Notes

A reminder that files in these locations are normal. Don’t go over the top trying to clean them up.

It should be noted that while the files are in use by the web server, you will not be able to delete them – this is fine; the goal is to clean up unused files.

You should also be aware the next time the application fires up, on app pool start, the application will re-compile again. This may lead to a longer than average initial page load. If this is of concern, consider only removing files that are older than 30 days.

Of course, this script is provided as is. You should test it thoroughly in a test environment before use in production (though I certainly do).

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15 Responses to Automatically Clean Up Temporary ASP.NET Files

  1. Brendan says:

    An iisreset /stop will obviously stop IIS and take your sites down, which is unnecessary if you’re just cleaning up unused disk space per this post.

    However if you were seen to do it for other reasons, iisreset /stop, run the script and use iisreset /start

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  2. faizan says:

    how can we stop the iisreset /stop and clean the ASP.NET Temporary folder then start the IIS again “iisreset”

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