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What is a Microsoft Visual C++ redistributable package?

Answer: A redistributable package (or a "redistributable") is a library of components required to run certain Windows applications developed with Microsoft Visual C++. You can view the list of installed redistributables on your Windows machine by opening the Programs and Features Control Panel (see below).

Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable

Redistributable packages may be automatically installed along with programs that have been created with Microsoft Visual C++. They can also be downloaded from Microsoft's website and installed manually.

Each redistributable package correlates with a specific version of Visual C++. Therefore, if you have multiple programs on your computer that were developed with the same version of Visual C++, you may only need one redistributable for all of them. If you have a large number of Windows apps on your computer, there is a good chance you will need to install multiple redistributable packages.

You can safely uninstall redistributable packages using the Programs and Features Control Panel (see above). However, if you install a package that is used by a program on your computer, you may have to re-download and reinstall the package in order to use the program again. Since packages are typically around 20 to 30 megabytes in size, multiple redistributables will not take up much disk space.

Published: May 18, 2016 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center