My C:\Windows\Installer folder is huge: 14 GB. My understanding is that this is where failed updates go to die, and it should not be this big. What is the correct way to clean it on Windows 10?


1 Answer 1


There is a relatively new tool called PatchCleaner which detects and can delete old MSI/MSP files.

PatchCleaner Screenshot

From the PatchCleaner page:

Windows Installer Directory When applications are installed and updated on the Windows Operating System a hidden directory "c:\Windows\Installer" is used to store the installer (.msi) files and the patch (.msp) files.

Generally these files are important as during updating, patching or uninstalling software it will use the .msi/.msp files. If you blanketly delete all the files in this folder, you will find yourself needing to rebuild windows.

Over time as your computer is patched and patched again, these installer files become outdated and orphaned. They are no longer required, but they can take up many gigabytes of data.

PatchCleaner PatchCleaner identifies these redundant/orphaned files and allows you to either:

(Recommended) Move them to another location. If you want to play it safe, just move them to another location, and you can always copy them back. Delete them.

First use the move option and wait a few days before you delete the moved files.

  • 3
    Excellent recommendation, I just used this tool myself. I feel a lot more better than running something else that says "delete everything in your Installer folder".
    – gcode
    Jun 14, 2016 at 18:13
  • 7
    @MarkRendle I always download the setup from the developer page and not from a 3rd party hoster Jun 30, 2016 at 16:05
  • 4
    I am planning on making a portable version as I have had a few requests for this recently, but in the meantime if you prefer to run this from a usb drive, once installed you can just copy the installation folder c:\Program Files (x86)\HomeDev\PatchCleaner to your USB Key and it seems to run fine. Glad to hear it is working for people. Last few days some people (2) reporting issues with a recent MS silverlight patch, I am looking at this and a few minor changes for the next version. Cheers.
    – jcrawfor74
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:22
  • 2
    This worked well for me on a client PC with a seriously full HD. Moved 12GB with no ill effects. Thanks to the developer for making this, it was sorely needed.
    – colmob
    Nov 22, 2016 at 2:32
  • 3
    It is a shame what Microsoft is doing with the Installer directory! This solution even works on XenServer for Windows VM. On a virtualization platform it is sometimes not that trivial to raise the HDD space. Aug 10, 2017 at 17:57

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