How to get temporary folder for current user


Currently I am using following function to get the temporary folder path for current user:

string tempPath = System.IO.Path.GetTempPath();

On some machines it gives me temp folder path of current user like:

C:\Documents and Settings\administrator\Local Settings\Temp\

On some machines it gives me system temp folder path like:


MSDN Documentation also says that above API returns current system's temporary folder.

Is there any other API available which gives me current user's temporary folder path like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\administrator\Local Settings\Temp\

6/18/2014 9:58:06 AM

Accepted Answer

System.IO.Path.GetTempPath() is just a wrapper for a native call to GetTempPath(..) in Kernel32.

Have a look at

Copied from that page:

The GetTempPath function checks for the existence of environment variables in the following order and uses the first path found:

  • The path specified by the TMP environment variable.
  • The path specified by the TEMP environment variable.
  • The path specified by the USERPROFILE environment variable.
  • The Windows directory.

It's not entirely clear to me whether "The Windows directory" means the temp directory under windows or the windows directory itself. Dumping temp files in the windows directory itself sounds like an undesirable case, but who knows.

So combining that page with your post I would guess that either one of the TMP, TEMP or USERPROFILE variables for your Administrator user points to the windows path, or else they're not set and it's taking a fallback to the windows temp path.

6/20/2020 9:12:55 AM

DO NOT use this:


Environment variables can be overridden, so the TEMP variable is not necessarily the directory.

The correct way is to use System.IO.Path.GetTempPath() as in the accepted answer.


I have this same requirement - we want to put logs in a specific root directory that should exist within the environment.

public static readonly string DefaultLogFilePath = Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.UserProfile);

If I want to combine this with a sub-directory, I should be able to use Path.Combine( ... ).

The GetFolderPath method has an overload for special folder options which allows you to control whether the specified path be created or simply verified.




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