Familiar folder bug makes its way to Windows 11 from 10

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What you need to know

  • A bug causes some PCs to create empty folders within the system directory.
  • Windows 11 and Windows 10 appear to be affected by the issue.
  • Some people have seen thousands of these empty folders on their PC.

A strange bug affecting Windows PCs causes empty folders to appear within the system directory. The issue was spotted by Born City and highlighted by WinFuture. The problem causes Windows to "flood" a computer with empty folders that begin with "tw"and have ".tmp" at the end.

This isn't a new issue, as it was seen on Windows 10 back in June 2021 (via Born City). It is back in the news because it's been seen affecting Windows 11 PCs as well.

The folders created within the system directory are completely empty. They don't cause harm, but them appearing in the first place is odd. You can check to see if any of these empty folders appear on your PC by navigating to C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local. Some PC owners have reported seeing thousands of these empty folders on their PCs.

It's believed that an app called ProvTool.exe is responsible for the folder-related bug. It's a provisioning package runtime processing tool. It is technically possible to disable ProvTool, but it is not recommended. As the empty folders created by this bug don't seem to cause any damage, it's probably best to ignore the issue. You can delete the empty folders, though the issue may create new ones the next time you create a network connection.

Out of all of the known issues and problems with Windows 11, this one appears relatively mundane. It is, however, a strange bug that's persisted over the last several months.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.