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Cleaning SAFELY Windows\Installer folder with PatchCleaner

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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Over time as your computer is patched and patched again, these installer files become outdated and orphaned.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 identifies these redundant/orphaned files and allows you to either:

(Recommended) Move them to another location, prefaibly to another drive. If you want to play it safe, just move them to another location, and you can always copy them back.
If you are SURE about what you are doing, you can delete them.


How it works
HomeDev has had many queries about how PatchCleaner works and if it can be trusted to do the right thing.

Its pretty simple. The windows operating system holds a list of current installers and patches, that can be accessed via WMI calls, (Windows Management Instrumentation ).

PatchCleaner obtains this list of the known msi/msp files and compares that against all the msi/msp files that are found in the "c:\Windows\Installer" directory. Anything that is in the folder but not on the windows provided list is considered an orphaned file and is tagged to be moved or deleted.

HomeDev cannot warrant that PatchCleaner will not find a false positive and delete a required patch which is why we have added the filter feature to filter and recommend using the move function, that way you can always copy the patches back if required. Please see the Known Issues List at the bottom of the page

CLI - Command Line Interface
As of verison 1.3, patch cleaner implements a CLI, (Command Line Interface).

The application can now be run from the command line with the following switches:

     /d  - This will execute with the delete action.
     /m - This will execute the move action with the default location as stored in your local app configuration.
     /m [FilePath] - This will execute the move action, where [FilePath] is the location you wish to move the files to.

The process will write the output to the console window and also logs the messages to the windows event log.


After 200,000+ downloads, there is some feedback that a few users are having problems where PatchCleaner is being detected as Malware. The author reassures that there is no Malware contained within PatchCleaner.

To stop PatchCleaner from being detected as malware he would require purchase of an SSL certificate and digitally signing the software but given this is 100% free software, it cannot justify the expense in doing this, so he does apologise for any extra clicks you may have to do to install PatchCleaner.

The application has a 100% clean Softpedia rating.


You can find PatchCleaner at


Known Issues

  1. Adobe Reader patcches are detected incorrectly as orphaned files. As of verson 1.4, PatchCleaner now has an exclusion filter that allows you to filter out the Adobe Acrobat patch files so they can be excluded from the set of orphaned files. The exclusion filters are configurable


  • Windows 7 / 8 or 10,  x64 or x86 (not compatible with windows XP)
  • .Net framework 4.5.2
  • Also, runs on Windows Server, Confirmed on Server 2008 R2 x64 and Server 2012 R2 64

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