SOLVED! Can I Delete Old Versions Of Microsoft Visual C++? Final Answer

Microsoft Visual C++ (MSVC) is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) program used for C, C++, and CLI programming languages. The MSVC package offers developers a single application in which they can edit, test, and debug their codes. It also supports a host of programming styles such as program design, data abstraction, object-oriented programming, and generic programming. If you keep coming across multiple versions of MSVC on your computer, you may eventually wonder: “can I delete old versions of Microsoft Visual C++?” 

Microsoft Visual C++: An Overview

Can you delete old versions of Microsoft Visual C++? Well, you could figure out the answer on your own after reading the following facts about Microsoft Visual C++.

Redistributable Packages Cannot Be Replaced

To put it plainly, you cannot replace one version of Microsoft Visual C++ with another and expect everything to run smoothly. 

For instance, Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 redistributable cannot be replaced by Microsoft Visual C++ 2008. The binding would fail and all programs that depend on the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 redistributable to run would go haywire. On startup, those programs would display an error: “This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem”. 

The only way to change a binding from Visual C++ 2005 to Visual C++ 2008 in a program is to wait for the program’s author to upgrade the source code to Visual C++ 2008. When the author releases an updated version of the program, you can download that and update your MSVC from 2005 to 2008.

Microsoft Visual C++ Does Not Consume Disk Space 

Even though your computer could contain many versions of MSVC, they do not consume much space as a whole. The size of each version should be around 7MB so 20 files equal 140MB and that is next to nothing in today’s computers. Microsoft regularly sends updates for MSVS to computers without uniting them into larger packages. That is why there are many versions of Visual C++ Redistributable

Deleting Microsoft Visual C++ Will Not Improve Speed 

If you have a slow PC, the deletion of the Visual C++ Redistributable files will not solve your issue. Instead, you should opt for disk defragmentation to speed things up.


  • Need to insert a hard breakpoint? Insert __asm int 3; to your code
  • Add ‘/Y3’ to the command line of VC to show the compile duration
  • Whilst debugging a project, press Alt + 8 to switch to assembler mode.
  • View function parameters by placing the cursor after the name of a function then press Ctrl + Shift + Space.

How To Uninstall Microsoft Visual C++

“Can I delete old versions of Microsoft Visual C++?” is a question that bothers a lot of Windows users. For most of the time, it’s unwise to uninstall MSVC as the uninstallation can complicate the operation of programs. However, in a couple of scenarios, you may have no choice but to uninstall Microsoft Visual C++. Such scenarios include: 

  • An issue occurs during the installation of programs that require Visual C++ packages.
  • You receive an error message indicating that the redistributable package has been corrupted.
  • Some of your programs crash repeatedly.

Here is what must be done to uninstall MSVC:

  • Step 1: Press Windows + R to open Run.
  • Step 2: Type appwiz.cpl in it then hit Enter to open the Programs and Features.
  • Step 3: Scroll down the list, locate Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package, right-click it and select Uninstall.
  • Step 4: Click Yes when prompted and follow the on-screen instruction to complete the uninstallation.

Issues That Unfold After The Uninstallation: Troubleshooting 

If you run into a program error after uninstalling Visual C++, here are some solutions to perform a quick fix. 

Apply Changes To Settings

  • Step 1: Press Windows + Pause Break, choose System and select Advanced system settings.
  • Step 2: Pick Environment Variables.
  • Step 3: In the user variables area, select TEMP and click Change.
  • Step 4: In the Variable value box, type C:\Temp, select Apply and choose OK.
  • Step 5: Repeat the process for TMP as well.
  • Step 6: Restart the computer 

Registry Editor 

  • Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run, type Regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor. 
  • Step 3: On the left panel, go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\F942F94A19C0F79468FD2B85E5E8677B then right-click it.
  • Step 4: Select rename, then rename F942F94A19C0F79468FD2B85E5E8677B to -F942F94A19C0F79468FD2B85E5E8677B (note the hyphen before the file name).
  • Step 5: Close Registry Editor then restart your computer.

Reinstall Visual C++ 

If you had previously deleted a version of Visual C++, you may need to reinstall it for certain needs. The system should attempt to reinstall MSVC on its own but at times, it fails to do so and you have to manually install the program.

  • Step 1: Launch your web browser, visit the Microsoft website and navigate to the “Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio” download page.
  • Step 2: Select Download. To be thorough,  you should install both the x64 and the x86 versions. If you’re using a 32-bit version of Windows, then you only need to install the x86 version.
  • Step 3: Once the download is complete, open the downloaded files and follow the onscreen instructions to install MSVC.
  • Step 4: After the installation is successful, restart your computer.

Is There A Difference Between C++ And Visual C++?

Yes, there is a difference. C++ is an extension of the C programming language and it is a general-purpose programming language. On the other hand, Visual C++ is an integrated development environment (IDE) product from Microsoft. It is developed for the C, C++, and C++/CLI programming languages.

Why Do I Have So Many Microsoft Visual C++?

You may find that there are multiple Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable packages especially after installing a fresh version of Windows 10. This is because some packages are installed along with Windows itself while the rest are installed depending on the version of Windows you are using. If you are a gamer and often install games through Steam, you will frequently see a pop-up message saying that the Visual C++ Redistributable is being installed. This is because the developers choose to install the latest package from Microsoft at the time of installation.

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