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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 (opens in new tab).

9 Comments
  • yep, I found 44 of them in my latest w11 install from 2 days ago. I wonder if the amount grows over time...
  • Yes, they increase over time, at least on W10. I have 3,500 on my work PC with the earliest ones from August 2020 and more almost every day since with only a few days the longest gap those are mostly weekend days when the computer wasn't used.
  • I found exactly 700!!
  • Yep, I have 57 in this Windows 10 installation I just did like 5 hours ago heh
  • What do you know, I got 80 of them on Win-11
    So for fun giggles, I created "Crap_tw_tmp-Folders" and dump all of them there. Waiting to see next wave for my counting.
  • Just checked my work computer on Win10- 3,744
  • I had a 15gb AMD folder that was full of nothing but old driver installation files...
    Nothing was being deleted after update, they just kept piling up.... If you're using an AMD PC with Windows 11 look into it.
  • Hey, I got me some of these... about 1,000 or so. Well, isn't that cool. I will keep checking if more are created. A great way to pass the time and add something to my life!
  • It seems to create them after a reboot/logon. About 20 each time