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Chances are, if you are reading this article, you are looking to delete your Windows Installer Folder or at least free up some space because it is consuming a lot of your system storage.
Well, you are at the right place – besides, you will not only learn how to safely free up space from the Windows Installer folder but also if it is really something you should do (amongst other things).
So, let us begin with it…
Why is the Windows Installer folder used?
The Windows Installed folder is used to maintain, i.e., remove or update applications as well as patches that are installed on your PC/laptop operating on Windows OS.
The files incorporated in the Windows Installer folder keep a record of the file versions as well as registry dependencies. These registry dependencies and file versions are usually involved in a particular application or application updation. These records available in the Windows Installer folder help in the installation and updation of applications properly.
Besides, Windows 10 uses the Windows Installer folder to store records of installer data files, also known as .msi files, as well as patch files known as .msp files. Caching these files is important for applications that rely on Windows Installer service.
Is it safe to delete files from the Windows Installer folder?
It is generally advised to not delete the files from the Windows Installer folder, let alone delete the complete folder. As mentioned above, these files are required for the applications that rely on Windows Installer service and deleting these files might lead to damage to some of the applications on your system.
These files in the Windows Installer directory are used for repairing, updating, or uninstalling programs existing in your system, and if you choose to empty the folder at some point, you will be unable to perform the following tasks mentioned above that compulsorily require the files.
To make things worse, you may also be unable to apply or remove updates or patches to certain programs or software.
As long as the files in the Windows Installer folder are orphaned files, it is not safe to delete them.
If you are desperate about cleaning up junk and adding space to your system drive, i.e., Drive C, you should instead try cutting and pasting the content from the Windows Installer folder to another drive for safekeeping. Since Windows Installer folder files are unique, you can not transfer them from one machine to the other.
What happens if you delete files from the Windows\Installer folder?
Firstly it is recommended not to delete the files from the Windows\Installer folder because these are unique files, and deleting them can cause problems in installing, repairing and fixing patches of the software whose files you have deleted. Other than this, you may get several other error messages related to the MSI Verbose log, SQL – specific and more.
But if you are still hard-pressed to create more space on your device, make sure that you create a backup of the files that you are going to delete in a different drive because later you won’t be able to copy the files from another machine and use it on your computer.
How to delete Windows Installer Folder and Files in Windows?
Here are three ways you could safely free up space from Windows Installer Folder in Windows 10:
Solution 1: Disk Cleanup
Go through the following steps:
- First, you need to go to the Windows File Explorer and right-click on [Local Disk (C:)], then select properties.
- In the properties window, you need to click on the [Disk Cleanup] button located at the bottom right in the General tab.
- In the new screen, you can see which files from the disk are going to be cleaned, and now you need to click on [Clean up system files].
- Once the system scanning is finished, check the [Previous Windows installation(s)] in the next [Files to delete] checkbox, and now you just have to click on the OK button to delete them.
Solution 2: From Windows Settings
- Go to the Windows Settings by simply clicking on the start menu > Windows settings icon.
- Click on the System icon, and then in the new screen, you will find the storage option on your left; click on it.
- Now from all the options available, you need to choose This PC (C:) disk.
- In the new window, everything that is taking space in the disk can be seen. You have to choose the temporary files, then check [Temporary files] and [Downloads folder], and click on remove files to delete the files.
Solution 3: Using Command Prompt
- Open the Run box by pressing Win + R keys, then type “%temp%” in the empty box, and press enter.
- Now select the Windows installer folders and files from the Temp folder, and delete them.
Where is the Windows Installer Cache located?
Whenever we install an application on Windows using the Windows Installer, the important files of the application are stored in the Windows Installer Cache. If somehow the files in Windows Installer Cache gets deleted or compromised, you might not see any kind of major errors immediately until you perform actions like installing, updating or repairing a program.
These cache files are unique, and they cannot be just copied from other PCs and used. The “c:\windows\installer” folder is, by default, the location of the Windows Installer Cache files.
How to delete orphaned files from Windows Installer Folder?
Since deleting any file from the Windows\Installer can cause some serious trouble, back up the files from the Windows\Installer for safekeeping.
You can delete the files from the Windows\Installer manually by going to the c:\windows\installer folder and deleting the files in it. Or you can simply use other third-party application softwares like PatchCleaner, CCleaner, CleanMyPC, and others.
These applications can also help in repairing and rebuilding the Windows Installer Cache files and cleaning the patch files that are left behind by deleting the programs.