The Temporary Folder Strikes Again!Update to this post: Microsoft Word has published excellent advice for finding lost documents here.
The temporary folder is a directory were many computer programs automatically store files that you download, or those that you open from email attachments. It's very likely that this folder has caused more lost homework and more headaches than any other computer feature or component.
The reason this folder is so troublesome is because it stores your downloaded files in a place that is really tough to find again. Here's an example of how the temporary seems to "eat" your homework assignments:
You work for hours on your research paper at school and decide to finish it up at home. Naturally, you email the file to your own account so you can open it from any computer without having to carry around a flash drive. When you get home, you open your paper and give it the finishing touches. You decide to print it out in the morning, so you hit the "save" command, close the word processor, and go to bed.
The next morning your paper is nowhere to be found. You know you saved it, but it doesn't show up in your list of recent work or in any directory. Panic time!
By hitting the "save" command, you have inadvertently saved your work in the temporary folder. To find it again, you have to access the folder again, or find the temporary folder's path--but that's not so easy to do. You can get into the folder by going back to the email and opening the original attachment again. Once your paper pops up on the screen, go to "open" as if you want to open a second file.
Your computer should show you all the files in the folder you're currently working from--and that should be the temporary file. You will find the updated version in the list. If you're using Microsoft Word, both files (original and updated) will be saved with the same name, but they will be numbered. The most recent file will be the updated version. You're saved!