I have a forced windows update every month, these seem to leave copies of the installation binaries long after the update has been installed.

In the past, when short of c:\ disk space, I have deleted some of these, but on each occasion have lost licences as a result.

Is this just a coincidence? Should I be able to delete these binaries (a selection below) as they seem to be working copies of windows files?

For example the largest 8 files, in the largest installer cache folder, are very old versions of MSOffice files, for example here are the active versions for the totally obsolete version still being held in the installation cache

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 MSACCESS.EXE 13,802,160 2018-02-17 17:15:24

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12 MSACCESS.EXE 9,896,112 2015-10-14 07:55:30

So ideally I'd like to delete all the content of the Managed folder, the latest subfolder [2018-07-06] is already 5 months old

C:\Windows\Installer\$PatchCache$\Managed 1.8GB "Managed": Sub-Folders=171, Files=2399

Folder summary:

C4286E3D5810BA7498039DF94A0411C6 2018-07-06 13:48:31 Latest
... 00004109110000000000000000F01FEC 2017-10-24 460 MB Biggest

MSORES.DLL 72,521,600 2010-03-22 20:36:56
GROOVE.EXE 30,969,208 2010-03-25 10:25:22
EXCEL.EXE 20,753,760 2010-03-13 14:53:52
OART.DLL 20,516,712 2010-03-13 15:08:22
WWLIB.DLL 19,370,840 2010-03-27 08:38:44
MSO.DLL.x86 18,743,168 2010-03-23 11:03:04
XL12CNV.EXE 17,800,544 2010-03-13 00:50:14
MSACCESS.EXE 13,988,704 2010-03-01 05:09:14

00002109030000000000000000F01FEC 2017-09-18 448 MB 2nd Biggest
00002109150000000000000000F01FEC 2016-07-07 265 MB 3rd Biggest
E85265FE62305C848AC6B3CA62CF51FD 2015-05-12 15:21:17 Oldest

  • 1
    I believe this should answer your question social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/…
    – montonero
    Jan 23, 2019 at 12:25
  • Thanks Montonero, but I think I will duct tape it as below Jan 23, 2019 at 12:29
  • "I have a forced windows update every month," You can change this "forced" behavior.
    – Moab
    Jan 23, 2019 at 13:53
  • Nope I cannot - it's a work policy, I cannot change that - 900 MB gets dumped on my C: drive every month, pain for very little benefit Jan 23, 2019 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


Lost first version of 2nd answer - more windows aggrievement

C:\ free space down below 1MB Deleted all of c:\windows\temp


DOS prompt won't start anymore Opera browser window sized to minimum size, cannot resize.

Why oh why should I bother with windows, it's a major handicap in my work day!!!!


Just saw this after posting.

IMHO it's a stuff up. I'll just write the full 1.8 GB to a DVD in order to delete this offense to my sensibilities and duct tape it to the back of the monitor, and curse Microsoft every time I see it there.


  • Update 24 Jan 2019

** Archived all the windows install stuff on DVD, deleted originals - now we wait and see what happens when Windows wants to update itself towards end of February

How to safely delete stuff from %SystemDrive%\Windows\Installer?

Removing the "installation" (the installation package) will mean the program cannot be uninstalled, even if the installer program exists, because the installation package is required for the instalation. (plus registry items again)

Plus having all that does not guarantee that everything does get uninstalled, or that the program will even be able to repair itself with the installation package.


Sometimes you can Reinstall the original whole installation, (lapped install) to replace all the items you removed (+ all of the above mess), then the installation and un-installation itself will again operate. But Often this also requires resetting any items that can cause the installation to fail (usually in the registry).

  • If you ever find yourself unable to uninstall an application, just install it again, then uninstall it. This only works for applications that will use the same installation directory regardless of the version (Office wouldn’t be a good candidate but then again it’s easy enough to reinstall a specific version of Office)
    – Ramhound
    Jan 23, 2019 at 13:18
  • Nope - not easy to reinstall either office or windows, they were pre-installed from an image, and the registration keys are held by our IT dept, virtually impossible to do any self sysadmin on either of these two Jan 23, 2019 at 14:51

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