File Extension TMP
File extension TMP is most commonly used to denote a temporary or backup file. These are usually cache files created by an application for the purpose of storing data temporarily on disk rather than in system memory, and are usually destroyed once they have served their purpose.
Temporary TMP - commonly referred to as "temp" - files are used by a wide variety of applications, and are often destroyed once an application is closed. Backup TMP files are similar in nature, though may contain information such as incremental backups of an open file or document which can be used for recovery purposes should the application terminate unexpectedly. An example is Microsoft Word, which stores multiple versions of an unsaved word processed documents whilst it is open for backup and recovery purposes.
Usually temporary files can be removed safely as their contents are only required whilst an application is running, though given that there are no specific guidelines on the use or structure of TMP files, it is impossible to tell whether they contain information vital to the running of an application or not, and should therefore not be deleted unless it is absolutely certain that they are no longer required.
As TMP files are generic there is no associated application, and so it is difficult to tell what program they were created in. Opening a TMP file in a text editor such as Notepad may give some indication as to its origin if there is any plaintext information. Alternatively, the location of the TMP file itself may identify the associated application. However, as TMP files are usually only used whilst a program is running or left behind when an application is uninstalled, it is unlikely that it can be opened for any useful purpose other than recovery by the associated application. Known applications which use TMP files include Microsoft Word, Norton Antivirus and NeroAudio.