Redirecting the working folder used by ShowSize

December 19, 2008 (182)

in Known issues or problems, Tips and Tricks

This article is old. Now, ShowSize has an option where you can specify a folder on a different drive where it will create temporary files. This is specially useful if you are running out of disk space on the drive where Windows has its temp folder assigned.

But the following article is still useful to know how to redirect the temp folder in Windows.

I’m scanning a huge disk with ShowSize and Windows is reporting a disk space shortage error. What folder does ShowSize use to keep its scanned results? Can that folder be redirected?

ShowSize uses the default “temporary” folder set up in Windows. You can redirect it by using any of the tips found on or other Windows web sites. Just type “redirect temporary folder in windows” on Google and you may find many tips on this.

I will try to explain the steps below.

First, you can verify that ShowSize is indeed using the temporary folder set up in Windows. To do this, first click on Start–Run in Windows to bring up the Run prompt. On Windows Vista, type Run in the Search Box that appears at the bottom on the Start menu. Type %temp% in the Open box and click OK. This will open the temporary folder. If ShowSize is running, you will see some file names starting with drm and drv there. These temporary files disappear as soon as you stop ShowSize.

You need to redirect this temporary folder by specifying another folder on a drive that has plenty of space. Once you do that, all your programs including ShowSize will start using the new location to store temporary files.

Here are the steps to redirect this temporary folder.

  • Right click on the My Computer icon on desktop to see Properties.

  • Select the Advanced page (or Advanced System Settings on Vista).

  • Click on the “Environment Variables” button. It displays the Environment Variables as shown below.


  • The variables that we want to change are TMP and TEMP in the User Variables.

    In the “User variables” frame, select the TMP variable and click on Edit button. Type new value as a folder on some other drive where there is plenty of space, for example, “E:\TEMP”. Don’t use the root of the drive as some programs can face problems. Always use a subfolder that you create specifically for this purpose.


    Similarly, edit the value of the TEMP variable too to point to the new location above.


The same steps should work on Windows XP, Windows 2000, 2003 and Vista. But sometimes the redirection will work only after a reboot.

You can verify whether the temporary folder is redirected properly by following the same procedure that I explained at the top of this article to look for DRM and DRV files when running ShowSize.

System variables: What about the TMP and TEMP variables in the lower System Variables list? If you change them, they are set up for all the users of the computer but then they should be deleted from the user variables list of all the users. If you don’t understand this, it’s ok. It is an advanced concept.

Previous post: Reporting last used files

Next post: The report I use most often