Should I delete Microsoft Visual C ++

What to do? Multiple installations of Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable

Arne Arnold

The Visual C ++ libraries are often full of Windows. A nuisance that you shouldn't fix.

EnlargeAs soon as you have installed some tools, you will also find a number of programs called Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable in the list. Unfortunately, you will usually need all of these.

If you open the function for uninstalling programs in Windows (via "Control Panel -> Programs -> Uninstall Programs"), you will usually find several entries for the Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable program. These are program libraries. They are required by applications written in Visual C ++.

Eight or more versions of this program in a Windows installation are not uncommon. There is a total of 16 versions of the package, with the newer versions being available as both 32-bit and 64-bit programs. However, the eleven versions before Visual C ++ 2008 usually no longer play a role. Because version 2008 has been around since November 2007, so for almost 10 years. A program that requires an older package has not been modernized for around 10 years. Of course there is, but it is rare. The fact that a lot of "Visual C ++ Redistributable" packages still accumulate in your Windows is also due to the fact that there are several build versions of a main release, such as Visual C ++ 2008. If you are in the tidying up mood, you may be tempted to uninstall at least some of the older versions.

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Danger: It is very likely that you will need any of these Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable installed. If you uninstall either of these, there will at least be one application that will stop working. Because a redistributable package each came with a specific application that it requires for its work. The application was developed with a version of the Microsoft Visual C ++ programming tool. That is why it needs very specific libraries (DLL files) from exactly this C ++ version. And they are in the redistributable.

Often the libraries of the individual redistributable are compatible with each other, but not in all versions. That means: An application could theoretically also use the DLL file from a newer redistributable package, but since this does not always work, most applications require the DLL of a very specific version.

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If the required DLL files are missing, the start of an application fails and an error message is output. It says that DLL XY was not found. Typical candidates are the files Msvcr70.DLL, Msvcr71.DLL, Msvcr 80.DLL, Msvcr90.DLL and Msvcp90.DLL as well as Msvcm90.DLL and MSVCR100.DLL.

Should such an error occur with you, the installation or reinstallation of the program or alternatively the Visual C ++ Redistributable will help. You can find the different versions in the Microsoft Download Center.

Our advice is: Do not uninstall any version of Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable. If you are in a mood to clean up and you still want to uninstall the packages, make a note of which version you are throwing down beforehand. You should also create a complete system backup first, but at least you should create a system restore point. You can do this via "Control Panel -> System and Security -> System -> Computer Protection". Select your system drive there and then click on "Create".