Can Windows Installer Files be moved or deleted from the Windows Directory?

* Original Title: Deleting / Moving Some Files from the Windows Directory

I have ran across different responses to my question - and probably will here.

In C:\Windows\Installer\Files, I have 8.6 G and C:\Windows\Installer\File\$PatchCache$ has 4.5G (which actually leaves C:\Windows\Installer\Files really 4.1G. 

Can these files be moved to another storage device or is their a utility to run to see what files are just no longer needed? I use CCLeaner and PerfectDisk already.

Windows 8.1 Laptop

120G SSD

 

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Last updated October 14, 2018 Views 53,325 Applies to:

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Hi Corey,

It is not recommended to move the operating system core components and files to a drive other than the operating system drive. Because they will cause instabilities in the operating system files.

The Windows Installer Cache, located in c:\windows\installer folder, is used to store important files for applications installed using the Windows Installer technology and should not be deleted. If the installer cache has been compromised, you may not immediately see problems until you perform an action such as uninstall, repair, or update on a product.

When a product is installed using Windows Installer critical files are stored in the Windows Installer Cache (default is C:\Windows\Installer). These files are required for uninstalling and updating applications. Missing files cannot be copied between machines since they are unique.

If you do not have enough space on c: drive, you may try the below suggestions:

a. Move the download folder to another drive.

b. Empty recycle bin

c. Uninstall the applications that you no more use.

d. Perform disk cleanup.

For more information, refer to the links.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2667628/en-us

http://blogs.technet.com/b/joscon/archive/2012/01/18/can-you-safely-delete-files-in-the-windir-installer-directory.aspx

Disclaimer: Using Third Party Software, including hardware drivers can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Third Party Software can be solved. Using Third Party Software is at your own risk.

Hope this information helps. If you have any further questions, please let us know.

K.Z. Sharief Khan
Ex-Microsoft Forum Moderator

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I found a way to edit the pagefile.sys - it was at 12G, and some said that it could be set 1 1/2 times RAM (mine is 4G) so reducing that to 6G hopefully will help.

I basically notice the decrease in memory when I leave the computer on for awhile.  I will have 10-12G when starting but it slowly decreases to 2G or less on my hard drive.

Corey

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Hi Corey,

Thank you for the update.

For more information, refer to the links.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2860880/en-us

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008/11/17/3155406.aspx

Hope it helps.

K.Z. Sharief Khan
Ex-Microsoft Forum Moderator

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But what's about de *.msp files inside the Windows Installer folder? Have Microsoft a tweak for remove some of them who via Regedit can be remove? This folder eat -literally- the HD or SSD.

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3 Ways to Safely Delete Unused MSI and MSP Files from Windows Installer Folder
https://www.raymond.cc/blog/safely-delete-unused-msi-and-mst-files-from-windows-installer-folder/

You might want to consider some form of backing up that folder before attempting to make changes to it.

How to create a system image to refresh your Windows 8 PC
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2748351


How to create a custom refresh image in Windows 8
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/create-custom-refresh-image-in-windows-8/

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Is there still no supported solution to get rid of what is basically 19+ GIGABYTES of wasted space on a full hard drive?

The download folder is empty, they recycle bin is empty, all unused applications are uninstalled, disk has been cleaned up.

And yet, next to a program files directory of 17 gig, I have an installer directory of 19 gig, and it keeps growing. 

Not removing it means having to uninstall eventually everything but bare windows. Which is equivalent to writing of this PC. 

And all because something with no visible use has to take 19 gigs of space and the only thing MS can say is "it's important, keep it".

There is 17 gigs of installed programs on the pc. You are saying I need almost 1 byte of installer storage for every installed byte of programs? That sounds more like a bug than a feature.

Please tell us if there is any chance of this space-hugging monstrosity being tamed in the future, or if we have to indeed accept the fact that space requirements of windows will over time necessitate installation on expandable raid volumes...

To be clear, the installer folder is taking up 50% of the %windir% folder. I find it hard to believe this is by design.

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Hello, Corey:

I think have found the answer:

1. Make security copy of Windows Installer to another HD you have.

2. Search the program "WICleanupUI.EXE". Uncompress and launch it.

3. Automatically, the progam list all the files unused in Windows Installer Folder. (Clic on "Scan").

4. Once finish this job, you can clic on the names -not in the squares of selection- of the files. Friendly, you make clic on one of these files and, with the Sifht Key, you can make clic on the last ones. Once all of files stay selected, you can clic on one square of selection. So, all files are selected now. Try if you don't found the way.

5. Once all are selected, you can clic on "Delete all files selected or so similar button (down right the program windows).

6. Then, you must to delete one by one, because the program ask one by one, and you must to confirm the deletion.

7. I have now 12,3 GB of more space free tan before.

Have fun.

Note: The Windows System 8.1 can be installed on an SSD (60 GB) and after you have installed all your programs, must be more than the 30 Gb of free space. I have now 34,2 GB of free space. I've proved all my programs after of deletion and all still keep working.

C'mon, let's do it, Corey!

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My Windows Installer folder is taking up 220GB out of an available 288GB - that's ~75% of my entire Hard Drive.

I tried PatchCleaner but (ironically) it failed to install.

So yes, what you said.

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