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Thread: Can I delete Installer folder?

  1. #1
    Shell Guest

    Can I delete Installer folder?

    My Installer folder is packed with over a Gig of -stuff-. Is it necessary to
    have all that there or can I delete it all?

  2. #2
    Andrew McLaren Guest

    Re: Can I delete Installer folder?

    Hi Shell,

    Good question. "Installer" isn't a standard Windows directory. It was
    probably created by the manufacturer of your machine, as a location from
    which to install software, maybe Vista itself, on the hard disk.

    Is this a new machine? Did you get a DVD containing the Vista installation
    stuff? or was Vista already installed and no DVD? If you didn't get a DVD
    then the Installer directory might be your only original copy of Vista, if
    you need to re-install in future.

    The safest thing would be to make a backup of the Installer directory,
    before you delete it. Just burn it to a DVD. Then delete the directory. But
    if it's a new machine, you may want to check with the manufacturer first.

    For example - when I bought a new Toshiba M400, it has a "software"
    directory containing installers for all the Toshiba-supplied utilities:
    about 1GB as I recall. I burned to a disk and then just deleted it. Had no
    problem since - the utilities were soon replaced with updated versions on
    the Toshiba website, in any case.

  3. #3
    Shell Guest

    Re: Can I delete Installer folder?

    Thank you Andrew,

    I dove deeper and found a folder in there called Managed and in there, some
    numbered folders but their contents are all MS Office programs. I clicked the
    Excel.exe and it loaded right up, not the installer files - the actual
    program. Word did the same. When I check a WORD or EXCEl icon properties, it
    doesn't give me where it short-cuts to! Maybe the instaler folder - but
    shortcuts isn't telling :)

    I found a lot of the junkware and trialware - the stuff that comes with
    computers these days, residing in the other numbered folders - stuff like
    Quicktime, Roxio (lots of Roxio folders!) and the most usage is behind the
    four sub-folders that hold all the MS Office files
    (two folder like the long number each with two having the 11.0.#### and all
    those with the office files.

    BTW - numbers in path changed to protect the innocent :)

    As for DVD - it didn't come with any but on first boot the system requested
    2 DVDs so I could back up the installation of O/S to original factory
    settings. I have a factory set Recovery" partition (D:) that i can't even
    explore - in case I make copies of the O/S install files.

  4. #4
    Andrew McLaren Guest

    Re: Can I delete Installer folder?

    Wow, hold the phone!!

    You mean the directory is actually "C:\Windows\Installer"?

    Okay that's different. I thought you meant you had an Installer directory,
    like "C:\Installer".

    C:\Windows\Installer is indeed a standard Windows directory. Normally it is
    hidden, and should not appear in Explorer. You must have selected the option
    to display hidden folders.

    Yes, it is normal for applications to leave *.MSI files in this directory.
    That's what enables the Repair/Uninstall facility in Control Panel,
    Programs. You can delete files under this directory if you want, and your
    applications will continue to run normally. You just won't be able to change
    or uninstall them. Leave this directory severely alone, unless you are
    really tight for disk space.

    If (and only if) you are really low on disk space, then you can archive off
    some or all of the files from the Installer directory to another location,
    such as a DVD or external Hard disk. If you want to modify, add or remove
    and applications, you will need to copy the contents of the Installer
    directory back, first. Otherwise you will start to get many weird error
    messages when you try to install, change or uninstall applications.

    But if at all possible, just leave it alone. If the applications are things
    that you don't want, remove the application via Control Panel.

    Andrew McLaren
    amclar (at) optusnet dot com dot au

  5. #5
    Shell Guest

    Re: Can I delete Installer folder?

    Thanks very much Andrew - I will leave it as it is. Though some are just
    frefercne to icons and such, and the reall only filke in there is Roxio -
    other than all the Office files, and maybe, that's where they are running out

    As they say 'You're the man' :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I tried deleting all of those msi and msp files by zipping them down to a couple of rar files and putting those on a DVD disk just in case (9G removable DVDs are marvellous). I noticed a couple of things: First, getting rid of all those files, about 1.5G in my case, didn't seem to increase my free disk space at all, and second, it broke the trial copy of Office 2007 Enterprise which I'm now using, and is not set to expire until the end of October. When trying to use Word, I first saw an installation sequence start (not unusual for trialware) and finally got an error message that Office wasn't installed for the current user.

    I had also run the Tune-Up Utilities option to recover disk space option to recover disk space, but it had only found a few hundred megs. (AFAIK Tune Up Utilities is the best tool out there for dealing with disk space issues--see

    But there's a happy ending.

    After moving the rar files back over, and inflating them back to their original state, I re-ran Tune Up, and got about 8G back for a net gain of ~6.

    I can't say that it was just these steps, or if I've done anything else recently to account for it, but it couldn't hurt to try if you are facing the same issue. To summarize:

    (1) Remove the msp/msi files in the Installer folder, but save them first.

    (2) Run Tune-Up Utilities procedure to recover disk space

    (3) I don't think this is necessary but would probably be a good sanity check: try to start an Office program--it start an installation attempt and fail.

    (4) Restore the files you removed

    (6) Again, probably not essential at this point, but you'll need to do it sometime anyway: Restart an Office program, which will now go through an installation process and succeed

    (7) Rerun the space recovery utility

    You should find a significant increase in available space. I'm not sure how this worked, but surmise that when the installation files are replaced, the OS works out a way to use the space more efficiently.
    Last edited by Pithecanthropus; 07-09-2008 at 08:53 PM.

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