Removing Updates?

Dear computer lady,

My question is a simple one (I hope).

When you download updates and install them, can you (or should you) eventually delete them if you go into the add/remove programs?

I have so many updates on my laptop and not much memory left and I was wondering how I could save space.

Best regards, Holly S.


Dear Holly,

This is a good question, and one that people ask me quite frequently.

The Windows updates that Microsoft puts out are individual updates, and newer ones do not contain the updates that came before it. That means that if you were to remove the older ones, the protection or feature contained in those older updates would also be removed and you might possibly leave yourself exposed to a threat of some kind.

The reason the updates are listed in Add/Remove programs is so that you can remove an update that ends up causing you problems.

I know this doesn’t help your memory problem, but it will prevent you from removing updates that are working to keep your computer secure.


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    • David
    • December 8, 2009

    Elizabeth – I have appreciated your guidance on a number of items.
    In regard to Holly S’s question, I wonder if she might also have been referring to the large number of folders within the Windows folder with names beginning with “$Nt” and #MS”, most with the word “Uninstall” within the folder name. If an installed update having proved to be stable, some might wonder if these folders can be deleted. And also some might wonder if the related subfolders beginning with KB can be deleted from the folders “#Received updates” and “$hf_mig$”.
    Thanks for your thoughts,

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