Whenever you install a program on your Windows PC using the Microsoft Setup Installer (MSI) program it copies the installer file (.msi extension files) in a local folder on your hard disk. This is done, so that you can make changes to the installation later on. But not many people need these changes and these installation files just keep on piling up one after another. Windows does the same thing to the patch files (.msp extension files) released by Microsoft from time to time and copies them to a local folder. Over a long period of time (for example six months or a year), your PC can accumulate more than 1 GB of such files.
The free program PatchCleaner can find these MSI or MSP files on your PC and allows you to either delete them from the hard disk or move them to a different folder. The first option is great if you are running low on disk space and want to recover some extra space that is claimed by these installer or patch files. The second option (moving files to another directory) is a safety option – you remove the files from the system partition, but still keep a backup on a portable disk drive just in case these files are needed in the future.
The user interface is very basic and offers you two buttons – Move and Delete for the obvious reasons. You can specify a folder where you want to move the patch files but it is advised that you move them to a removable disk drive (like a USB pen drive or SD card) to maximize the system disk performance.
By default the program uses a deep scanning mode. The deep scanning checks the digital certificates of the patch files before removing them. In the settings, you can also choose not to run the deep scan to save time and improve performance of this small program. You can also add exclusion filters to prevent the removal of patch files/installer files related to certain products.
You can download PatchCleaner from http://homedev.com.au/Free/PatchCleaner.