Reader Wes Hill wrote me about removing some entries in his Add/Remove Programs listing in Windows Control Panel:
When I look in add/remove programs and see these items : Security update for Windows media player(KB911564, 5, and 17734) do I need to keep them? They use about 17+MB each! Also, all those windows 2000 hotfix entries!! Thanks for your help,
Basically, anything you find in the Control Panel’s Add or Remove Programs listing is there so you can remove it. Sometimes, that’s necessary. You might want to remove a program you no longer use in order to get back some disk space.
Some programs actually allow you to install and remove individual components using the Add or Remove Programs interface. Windows itself is one of these — but the Add or Remove Windows Components is in the headings on the left.
The important thing to realize is that, if you select "Remove", you’re going to uninstall the program from your computer.
In this case, yes, we need to keep these items. They are listed in Add/Remove Programs only so that you can remove them if they are causing problems.
If you remove them, you would be removing those secuity fixes from Windows. Don’t do it.
A better bet, if you need to free up some disk space, is to look at how much space you’re allowing Internet Explorer to use for Temporary Internet Files. By default, that’s 10% of your hard drive.
I have IE set with 6 MB for Temporary Internet Files (also known as "browser cache"). If I was using dialup, I’d probably use 20 MB.
Similarly, look at System Restore’s settings, which also default to 10% of the drive. Of course, if you reduce the System Restore space, you’ll be able to keep fewer restore points, so you’ve got a trade-off to consider if you change the System Restore settings.