Clearing the Microsoft Web Platform Installer cache

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CC 2.0 image courtesy mightymightymatze on Flickr

If you are like me and have been using Visual Studio for a while, you have probably used the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI) in the past. Yet, with Visual Studio Code providing a more streamlined development experience, the Web Platform Installer has slowly taken a back seat.

If you used the Web PI a lot, you may be surprised to learn it caches the installer (.msi) files on your system and leaves them there taking up hard drive disk space.

This article shows you how to remove these files from the local folder cache.

Manually clearing the installer cache

When the Web PI downloads an install file, it’s saved to the Web PI installer cache folder at:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Web Platform Installer\installers

Note: %LOCALAPPDATA% is the LocalAppData environment variable that refers to the location of temporary files of applications.

The full folder path is:

C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Web Platform Installer\installers

Note: %USERNAME% is the UserName environment variable that refers to the name (login ID) of the user currently logged on.

You can safely delete all files in this Installers folder as each item can be downloaded again from Web PI as needed.

Using the Web Platform Installer

If you have the Microsoft Web Platform Installer program installed on your machine, there is a second way you can clear the cache.

  1. Launch the Web Platform Installer.
  2. Click Options on the bottom bar. WebPI01
  3. The Change Options dialog appears.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the dialog.
  5. Click Delete Installer Cache Folder.WebPI02
  6. Click OK to exit Change Options.
  7. Click Exit to close the Web Platform Installer.

This method deletes the cached files by removing the entire Installers folder within the Web PI installer cache.

Summary

For me, cleaning the Microsoft Web Platform Installer folder cache freed up almost 1 GB of disk space. I suggest you check your folder cache to see if there is space you could gain on your hard drive.

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About Ken Cenerelli
I am a technical writer/programmer writer/content developer, .NET developer, Microsoft MVP, public speaker, blogger, and Microsoft Azure nerd. I blog about technology at kencenerelli.wordpress.com and am on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

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