I found wicleanup and I am not sure if it is safe to use. When I open the program and press scan, I get about 17GB of files that it says are UnUsed. By selecting all these files that it suggests, then deleting them, is it safe or should I use another tool?

WICleanup Tool

  • Use the built-in Windows Disk Cleanup Tool – DavidPostill Oct 20 '15 at 16:33
  • The above scan was done after I did a Disk Cleanup – Get Off My Lawn Oct 20 '15 at 16:34
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    Given that the website displayed on the tool kztechs.com doesn't work I would not use it. – DavidPostill Oct 20 '15 at 16:41
  • no, this tool only works for 32Bit Windows versions, but not for 64Bit. – magicandre1981 Oct 21 '15 at 4:27
  • I used it on my Windows 10 last week, cleaned about 20 GB of unused installation files... No problem so far. – Fernando Vieira Nov 20 '15 at 12:01
up vote 5 down vote accepted

By selecting all these files that it suggests, then deleting them, is it safe?

Short Answer: No.

Removing items from here could cause you to have application crashes, or worse, require the reinstallation and patching of the application.

The proper way to alleviate space pressure in this directory is to uninstall any unneeded applications.


Can you safely delete files in the %windir%\Installer directory?

The following was written by joscon who works at Microsoft:

This is a hidden system directory; it is used by the Windows Installer service to cache installer data files for various applications. Over time, this directory will grow and can eventually take up an amount of space that might cause pressure on thinly provisioned storage, such as virtual hard disks.

So, the question usually asked is: Can I safely remove the files in this directory? The answer is flatly: No. So let's talk about why this is a bad idea.

  1. It is not supported.

    • If you remove files from this directory and have issues, you may need to reinstall the application to get back to a good state. Therefore, that would suck for both you and the engineer that needs to deliver that message.
  2. The overall idea that you really should not remove items in the Windows directory.

    • We build and test our software based on the existence of specific files and directories. When those files and directories dont exist, bad things can and will happen. However, that is a generalization that usually upsets many people so let's be more specific.

    • This particular directories job is to act as a cache location for Windows installer based applications. It holds stripped down versions of the Windows installer data files. During application install, update of the application or application removal, this directory is used by the application to confirm the existence of previously installed items to determine the next steps the installer needs to take.

    • The files are different from machine to machine, so if you expect to delete the files in the directory and then copy them over from another machine, that would be incorrect.

    • Removing items from here could cause you to have application crashes, or worse, require the reinstallation and patching of the application.

The proper way to alleviate space pressure in this directory is to uninstall any unneeded applications.

Source Can you safely delete files in the %windir%\Installer directory?


Related SU questions

  • Is it possible that some of these files were not removed properly? According to this person: superuser.com/a/855332/201829 – Get Off My Lawn Oct 20 '15 at 17:16
  • Yes, it is possible. – DavidPostill Oct 20 '15 at 17:26
  • Is there a good way to deal with those? – Get Off My Lawn Oct 20 '15 at 17:37
  • I don't know of any reliable way to identify the unused files. – DavidPostill Oct 20 '15 at 17:38
  • @DavidPostill, I may be missed it, but I cannot find in your answer, why you think that this tool does not identify unused files reliable. Could you please explain? I do understand that from MS point of view nothing should be deleted from there simply so that they have to do less support because someone deleted something useful, but the utility seems to have been created with the exact purpose of identifying the unused ones that you can safely delete in mind. So what makes you think that it's not doing that? – Andrew Savinykh Feb 11 '16 at 0:17

MSI/MSP files for programs not currently installed can safely be deleted. However, if it is for a program still in use you have have download updates or reinstall.

Wicleanup is NOT a safe program. It has been flagged a virus by several AV programs. It may have been safe at one time but has been corrupted.

Try Patch Cleaner. homedev.com.au/Free/PatchCleaner

  • "The proper way to alleviate space pressure in this directory is to uninstall any unneeded applications." - The uninstaller will remove the appropriate files ... – DavidPostill Oct 20 '15 at 16:54
  • "HomeDev cannot warrant that it PatchCleaner will not find a false positive and delete a required patch which is why we recommend using the move feature, that way you can always copy the patches back if required." from homedev.com.au/Free/PatchCleaner. If you want to play safe and move the files (which they recommend) then you haven't freed up any disk space. Using this program is therefore pointless. – DavidPostill Oct 20 '15 at 16:57
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    Just an FYI on PatchCleaner. I have now had over 120,000 downloads with no one having reported corruption s or errors. The disclaimer is just me trying to be cautious. I recommend you use the move feature if you are worried and move the orphaned patches to a different or external drive and you can always copy them back. – jcrawfor74 May 4 '16 at 10:43
  • I second this. I actually used Wicleanup at first, but i removed only two files. I later installed Patch Cleaner and it indicated that the one file i removed, specificaly the "117fb5.msp" file could be useful. I used recuva to try to undelete it but unfortunately it couldn't find anything. I can only hope that this won't cause any issues. With Patch Cleaner i succesfully moved 17GB! out of my Installer folder to a backup HDD drive. Bottom line is Wicleanup is NOT safe. – Nik-Lz Jun 27 '16 at 18:06

Make small test just run some msi file and figure if you have uninstalled this software before. In my case some of this software was still installed on my PC. If you delete installer you will be not able to un-install this software or upgrade without this msi file.

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Generally speaking, no, this s not safe. I am not sure what algorithm uses to determine what is "used" and unused, but traditionally you want to use Msizap.exe, but that is no longer supported on Vista and up, so I would refer to this microsoft article

Otherwise, you can simply compress it, assuming you are using NTFS by right clicking on the folder, going to properties > advanced > compress contents to save disk space.

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