How to Delete Windows Installer Package Files

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Windows Installer packages are used to help install other programs and applications onto a Windows system. The packages are free and available for download at the Microsoft website. If you have downloaded an entire Windows Installer Package, or more than one installer package, you may have a large number of Installer files that can take up over a gigabyte or more of space on your system’s hard drive. If you want to free up that space on the hard drive, you can delete the Windows Installer package files.

Things You'll Need

  • CD-burning software
  • CD-R
  • Make a backup copy of the Windows Installer package files before deleting them. Use your favorite CD-burning software and a blank CD-R to create a data disc of the files. These files may be useful if you encounter issues with any program installations at a later date.

  • Navigate to the folder on the computer’s hard drive where the Windows Installer package files are stored. When the Windows Installer package files are installed, the default save location is the “Program Files” folder on the “C:” drive.

  • Delete all of the Windows Installer package files in the “Program Files” folder. Windows Installer package files are recognizable by their “.msi” file extension.

  • Open the “My Computer” or “Computer” feature from the “Start” menu. Search for “.msi.” Any files missed during the deleting process should appear in the search list. Note the folder those files are located in, go to the folder and delete the MSI files.

  • Download a registry cleaner. Free registry cleaners available for download on CNET include RegToy and Glary Registry Repair. Install the cleaner by double-clicking the setup icon in the “Downloads” folder and following the installation screens.

  • Open the registry cleaner and run the cleaner on your system by clicking the button to start cleaning on the main page. The registry cleaner will sweep the registry of your computer and delete any Windows Installer package files that have been left behind in the registry.

Tips & Warnings

  • While it is possible and safe to delete Windows Installer package files, it is not advisable. Deleting the files should cause no immediate issues with your Windows operating system, but it is possible that the missing files will cause issues when you attempt to upgrade a program installed using the Installer package. If you have enough space on your hard drive to store the files, it is wiser to leave them in the folder and have them available for future installations and upgrades.

References

  • Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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