How to Cleanup Revit Temp Files

When working with large Revit models you might notice that you are running out of available disk space on your hard drive. The reason for this is that Revit temporarily stores a lot of files on your hard drive. Especially when you are working with BIM360, the collaboration cache will fill up quickly. So you will need to clean up the Revit Temp files occasionally.

The Revit cache files are needed to keep Revit running smoothly. Families or linked files you use in your model are stored in the Revit cache folders. Also, the journal files, that are used to recover your model or troubleshoot issues, can consume a lot of disk space.

In this article, I will show where you can find the Revit Temp files and how to clean them up. Also at the end of the article, you will find a PowerShell script that automatically cleans up all the files.

Revit Temp Files Locations

There are two main locations where the Revit temp files are stored. Now you can empty all the folders completely, but that comes with a downside, which I will explain later. Revit creates for each version of Revit a cache folder, so I added an * in the paths below for the version number.

Also, Revit Cache folders are personal, so if you share your workstation with a colleague, then you will have multiple cache folders on your workstation.

  • Revit Journal Folder path: C:\users\*\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit *\Journals
  • Revit Collaboration Cache path: C:\users\*\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit *\CollaborationCache

The first * in the paths is your user folder. If you open the explorer and navigate to C:\users, you will find a folder for each user account on the computer. Replace the first * with your Windows Username. The second * is the Revit version number.

You can also quickly access the C:\Users\*\AppData\Local folder by using the variable %localappdata% in the Run dialog or Explorer:

  • Press Windows key + R
  • Type %localappdata% and press enter
Open Local Appdata

The AppData folder is a hidden folder in Windows. So if you navigate to c:\users\<yourusername> then you won’t see the folder. You can show the hidden folder by clicking on the View tab in explorer and selecting Hidden Items:

View hidden items

Revit Cleanup Journal Files

The first folder that we are going to clean up is the journal files. The Revit Journal Files are used as a log and backup of the Revit models you are working on. To open the journal files navigate to the following folder in Windows Explorer:

C:\users\<username>\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 20XX\Journals

Or you can also use the following path %localappdata%\Autodesk\Revit to quickly access to Revit folder.

You can delete all the files in the Journals folder, but I recommend keeping the files from the last 10 days as a backup.

revit temp files
Revit Journal Files

Revit should clean up the journal files automatically, but in my experience, the folder does get quite large often and it seems that the automatic cleanup isn’t always working as it should. You can configure the clean-up settings in Revit in the options menu:

revit journal settings
  1. Click on File
  2. Open Options and make sure that General is selected
  3. Change the settings under Journal File Cleanup

Revit Collaboration Cache

The Revit Collaboration Cache is used when you are working with BIM360. Models that you open are downloaded to your computer allowing you to work on them in Revit. But not only the file you are working on, but also all linked files are downloaded to the collaboration cache folder.

When you are working on multiple projects then the collaboration cache can become very large, so it’s a good idea to clean it up. But there is one thing you should know. If you delete the cache files, Revit will need to download the data from the cloud when you open the model again.

So it’s important only to delete old files or clean up the folder after you have finished a project. In the script at the end of the article, I delete only the files that are older than 60 days.

To open the collaboration cache navigate to the following folder:

C:\users\<username>\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 20XX\CollaborationCache

revit collaboration with temp files
Example of a Revit Collaboration Cache folder

Using BIM 360 Desktop Connector

When you use the Autodesk Desktop Connector for Docs, it will also cache files locally when you open them or link files from this folder. To clear the cache of the Desktop Connector to free some local disk space, make sure to have at least the latest version on your PC.

Search for the installed Autodesk Docs Drive in your Windows Explorer and then select the file level you prefer to clear. Right-click on the desired file level and then select Free Up Space, which will immediately clear some space on your local disk. You can re-download files from Autodesk Docs anytime by simply opening them.

revit temp files
Free Up Space on your local disk in Autodesk Docs Drive

Tip

You can Free Up Space on different file levels: account, project folder, or individual files. Using this feature at the account level will clear all subfolders which clears more disk space.

Autodesk Install Folder

The following folder isn’t a cache folder, but still, an important one to clean up often. When you install Autodesk software or Revit updates, the installation temporarily stores the files in c:\Autodesk. This folder can also become quite large, so it’s also a good idea to regularly delete the contents inside this folder.

Autodesk Install Cache folder
Autodesk Install Cache folder

You can safely delete the whole folder c:\Autodesk, the Autodesk installers will recreate the folder when needed.

Revit Temp Files Cleanup Script

Regularly deleting your Revit Temp Files is a good idea. It will make sure that your hard drive doesn’t get full. The PowerShell script below will clean up all Revit cache folders on your computer, even if you share the workstation with multiple users and/or are using multiple Revit versions.

You can run the script below by opening PowerShell ISE and copying/pasting the script into the editor.

# How many days do you want to keep the Journal Files?
$journalFilesMaxAge = (Get-Date).AddDays(-15)
# How many days do you want to keep the Collaboration Cache Files?
$collaborationCacheMaxAge = (Get-Date).AddDays(-60)
# Journal files folder path for all users and Revit versions
$userJournalFolders = get-childitem -path "C:\users\*\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit *\Journals"
# Collaboration Cache path for all users and Revit versions
$userCollabCacheFolders = get-childitem -path "C:\users\*\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit *\CollaborationCache"
# Cleanup all journal files that are older than given date
ForEach ($journalFolder in $userJournalFolders) {
  Write-Output "Cleaning up $journalFolder"
  Get-ChildItem -Path $journalFolder -Recurse -Force | Where-Object {$_.CreationTime -lt $journalFilesMaxAge} | Remove-Item -Force
}
# Cleanup old collaboration cache files
ForEach ($collabFolder in $userCollabCacheFolders) {
  
  # Get the first random ID folder, this folder contains subfolders for each project
  $collabCache = Get-ChildItem -Path $collabFolder -Directory
  $collabCacheFolder = Join-Path $collabFolder $collabCache
  $oldCollabCache = Get-ChildItem -Path $collabCacheFolder -Directory | Where-Object {$_.LastWriteTime -lt $collaborationCacheMaxAge}
  ForEach ($folder in $oldCollabCache) {
    Write-Output "Cleaning up $($folder.fullname)"
    Get-ChildItem -path $folder.FullName -Recurse | Remove-Item -Force -Recurse
  }
}

Wrapping Up

Keeping your cache folders cleaned up will save you a lot of disk space. But keep in mind to only delete old files, otherwise, you will need to re-download the cache files again when you open your model in case of the collaboration cache.

The PowerShell script is a great option when you need to manage multiple workstations, if you schedule the script, then never have to worry that the cache files consume all the disk space.

I hope you found this article useful, if you have any questions, just drop a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “How to Cleanup Revit Temp Files”

  1. Join-Path : Cannot convert ‘System.Object[]’ to the type ‘System.String’ required by parameter ‘ChildPath’. Specified
    method is not supported.
    At line:5 char:48
    + $collabCacheFolder = Join-Path $collabFolder $collabCache
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (:) [Join-Path], ParameterBindingException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CannotConvertArgument,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.JoinPathCommand

    how to resolve this
    Join-Path : Cannot convert ‘System.Object[]’ to the type ‘System.String’ required by parameter ‘ChildPath’. Specified
    method is not supported.
    At line:5 char:48
    + $collabCacheFolder = Join-Path $collabFolder $collabCache
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (:) [Join-Path], ParameterBindingException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CannotConvertArgument,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.JoinPathCommand

    • Can you check if you have a Collaboration cache folder? It should be in the following location : C:\users\\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2023\CollaborationCache

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