Finding currently installed MSIs

I was struggling to install some new software (the superb new Live Local 3D view - I had an early internal beta already installed) and then remembered a handy tip.

To find all currently installed MSIs, use the (hidden) folder c:\windows\Installer. It gives you a nice browseable view of the current state of the system, and can be invaluable in tracking down what the system currently thinks is installed.

Comments (3)
  1. steven says:

    It’s a pity the names of the MSI files are not exactly descriptive. It’s usually possible to learn what each file represents from the file properties, but this could be made a little nicer. How does Vista do this?

    BTW, is it really a virtual folder? Doesn’t look like it.

  2. John Pollard says:

    I was assuming it’s a virtual folder, as I didn’t see it when I was looking for it in Windows Explorer, but actually it’s a hidden folder. I’ve updated the entry accordingly – thanks for the tip!

    Adding the Author, Title and Comments fields to the view also helped me to find the MSI I was looking for, but I agree that actually a virtual view with the extra info needed would have been nicer.

  3. John Pollard says:

    Vista works in pretty much the same way with the c:windowsInstaller working in a very similar way to XP.

    The Control PanelProgramsPrograms and Features is a slight improvement on the old XP Control Panel, but nothing earth-shattering.

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