What Is This VC_Red File On My PC?!

Written by Alan Monday, 29 November 2010 08:00

If you have a computer then you are used to the occasional hiccup.  A Windows update that doesn’t go right, hackers that try to install unwanted files, and even the unrecognizable file that you sometimes stumble across.  VC_Red is the latter.  It cropped up over the past few months at different times for different people.  It’s fairly prominent since it usually appears right on the C: drive – not always though and I’ll get to that later.  So, what is it and should you worry?  Here’s what I have found.

When certain programs are installed they require Microsoft Visual C++.  Specifically this is Visual C++Redistributable Package for Visual Studio 2008 RTM.  The installation generates the following temporary files:


Ordinarily these files would be stored in the temp directory, but a bug is causing them to be generated to the root directory – usually the C drive.  However, on my HTPC they are in the root of the E drive, which is an external USB drive.  I can only guess they went there because it had more space available.

vc red What Is This VC Red File On My PC?!

The Solution

This has the simplest of all solutions for any PC problem.  Delete all of those files.  That’s it.  Plain and simple.  None of these files are necessary and they can all be removed from your PC.

Free Phones from Verizon Wireless! See site for details. What Is This VC Red File On My PC?!

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 What Is This VC Red File On My PC?!


Alan is the owner and editor of Making Windows Easy. In addition to writing about technology he is also an avid distance runner and hiker. Read More

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  1. Chris   |  Monday, 03 January 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks! Now I know I can delete these safely!

  2. marcos   |  Sunday, 09 January 2011 at 2:01 am

    thanks,congatulations !!

  3. Brian   |  Sunday, 30 January 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I have been saving these for 2 months looking for answers and didn’t want to risk deleting them. Their so gone now thanks.

  4. Hong   |  Wednesday, 02 February 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks a lot for your clarification!

  5. ms   |  Thursday, 03 February 2011 at 8:46 pm


  6. Robert   |  Sunday, 13 February 2011 at 1:15 am

    This “bug” has been a problem since 2008. Weird. But thank you very much for the info and the fix. Honestly if you check other MS forums they cant figure it out. and as I pointed out since 2008. So double BROVO!

  7. Some wierd files... - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net   |  Sunday, 06 March 2011 at 7:31 am

    [...] http://makingwindowseasy.com/2010/11…file-on-my-pc/ I sometimes have those show up on my external HDD. I delete them. __________________ Last.fm [...]

  8. Joseph Mullin   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 6:23 pm

    The problem I have is it is on my external hard drive and when I click on it delete is not an option that shows up. SO how do I get this off my backup drive?

  9. Alan   |  Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 6:53 pm

    You should still be able to delete, even on an external drive. If right-clicking doesn’t work then try highlighting the files and hitting the Delete button on the keyboard.

  10. Nunna Yer Biz   |  Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 6:10 pm

    When I installed liveusb-creator-3.10.0-setup from the fedora web site, It also installed the C++ redistributable. I am using Windows 7. When I installed the fedora program, These files were all created in my c: root instead of the temp dir. Thanks.

  11. Joe   |  Tuesday, 29 March 2011 at 5:40 am

    Whew! Thanks a lot!

  12. Mark   |  Tuesday, 29 March 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Mine is ful of .RTM files. Ok to delete those? Thanks, man!

  13. Andrew   |  Saturday, 16 April 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Wow, an easy to find, clear and simple explaination with immeditae resolution on the internet, who’d have thought?
    Thanks one-million!

  14. Abbers   |  Friday, 29 April 2011 at 12:33 pm

    great, no more worries with these files anymore…cheers

  15. isothio   |  Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 1:55 am

    Bug is obviously still there somewhere – thanks for the plainand simple advice

  16. James   |  Wednesday, 25 May 2011 at 4:49 pm

    That was incredibly helpfull

  17. David   |  Saturday, 18 June 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I have deleted these files on more than one occassion and they show back up again. While deleted may resolve the “issue” temporarily, it is not a true fix. Microsoft needs to get off their collective apathetic asses and fix these issues.

  18. Alan   |  Sunday, 19 June 2011 at 8:50 am

    At this point I don’t think they will fix it. The files come back sporadically and just have to be deleted again. The only fix is a script which will do it automatically.

  19. shouldased   |  Saturday, 02 July 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I was within an 1/8″ of hitting delete when I thought I better check for more info. Thanks for the peace of mind. Gone they are.

  20. coty   |  Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks. Cleaned up MS mess..

  21. jago   |  Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 2:05 pm

    vc_red sebaiknya di uninstal apa dihapus ?

  22. levenax   |  Tuesday, 16 August 2011 at 9:49 am

    Succinct. Thanks.

  23. Daniel   |  Sunday, 04 September 2011 at 12:16 am

    Thanks for the info! I deleted them all and hoped for the best, everything was running ok after a reboot but now I can go ahead and empty my recycle bin too. I’ll be sure to check your site if I run into anything else like this again!

  24. Dennis G   |  Sunday, 04 September 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Thnx!! :D Like everyone else, I was worried about deleting these files, but they’re so gone! :)

  25. Jules   |  Thursday, 22 September 2011 at 8:59 am

    Yeah. Had these on an external drive. The drive ran very poorly for music with them on it. Now that they are removed everything is back to normal.

  26. Edwin   |  Saturday, 24 September 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Good work Alan.

  27. Mark Franklin   |  Sunday, 25 September 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Interesting that these files were on my 2gig Western Digital Drive – right out of the box… unused. Seems to point to a problem with there manufacturing?


  28. sage   |  Wednesday, 28 September 2011 at 3:04 am

    Thanks Alan!

  29. Karmoon   |  Monday, 03 October 2011 at 11:28 am

    Thank you very much, sir.

  30. Belinda   |  Tuesday, 27 December 2011 at 5:37 am

    I’ve just found my entire D erased except for the VD_RED files :’(

  31. Mark   |  Tuesday, 27 December 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Awesome!! This was my first web site in my search for an answer, and the answer was so simple! I figured that i would be searching forever and that i would be lucky to find out what these files were. Thanks my friend!

  32. Tina   |  Thursday, 15 March 2012 at 5:40 am

    So that’s what all the files cluttering up my D drive are. Or rather were, as I have taken your advice and deleted the lot. Thanks so much.

  33. Dean   |  Friday, 23 March 2012 at 5:13 am

    Thank you for the information, I know can delete these files on my C drive with no more worries .

  34. karen   |  Tuesday, 03 April 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I still have the two VC_Red files you show in the pic above. Can they be deleted or must they remain? Thanks.

  35. cyvidal   |  Friday, 27 April 2012 at 3:47 am

    Thank you very much! :D

  36. Jodi   |  Tuesday, 01 May 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I have the same problem as Belinda – I opened my external drive today to do backups & it was completely empty except for these files. I have no idea what to do! Can my data files be recovered? And why were they deleted anyway? (I never paid attention to whether these files were there right from the manufacturer or not.) This is a Western Digital external drive.

  37. Harry Ahn   |  Thursday, 03 May 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks a lot! Seeing VC_RED in D drive of my PC was very unpleasant.

    VC_RED라는 파일이 D드라이브에 생겨난 것을 보고 무척 찜찜했는데, 참고가 되네요!
    용산에서 OS CD를 하나 사서 설치했었는데, 그것이 원인이 아닌가 생각합니다.

  38. Richard   |  Friday, 01 June 2012 at 2:00 pm

    LOL thx a lot ;)

  39. David   |  Friday, 01 June 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks for having this post. Just noticed these on my C: drive a few minutes ago, Google brought me here, and now they’re deleted. Very helpful post.

  40. liz   |  Friday, 08 June 2012 at 11:48 am

    Thanks, this information really helped.

  41. Ian   |  Tuesday, 12 June 2012 at 8:56 am

    Thanks.. really useful advice.. and it helps to see that it has worked for others before I try it

  42. Linda   |  Tuesday, 19 June 2012 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for this. I installed Adobe Digital Editions today and was alarmed when these files appeared on my D drive. Was going to delete them straightaway but was worried about the VC_RED Cabinet file and Windows Installer. I assume that it is okay to delete these as well as the other files?

  43. Colin   |  Wednesday, 15 August 2012 at 5:05 am

    THANK YOU!!!!

  44. find solution   |  Saturday, 18 August 2012 at 4:23 am


  45. Dawn   |  Monday, 20 August 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Great explanation and advice – thank you!

  46. Marcus   |  Thursday, 13 September 2012 at 5:05 pm

    My DVD Writer just disappeared and I could not get the Laptop to reqocnise it, until VC_RED were deleted. Thanks!!

  47. Charlie   |  Friday, 05 October 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Awesome! Thanks, man!

  48. Ronaldo Cerqueira   |  Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Eu ja exclui duas veses e todas as duas veses no outro dia quando vol ligar o pc ele nao abre mais o windows e eu tenho q formatar denovo entao meus amigos cuidado ao excluir eulas e vc_red eu nao excluo mais, so coloquei numa pasta so para eles no meu disco D: e deixei la!

  49. Rocco   |  Thursday, 11 October 2012 at 11:12 am

    What they said. Excellent. Thans.

  50. alibaba   |  Friday, 07 December 2012 at 7:57 am

    thank you….very informative and helpfull…..

  51. Lucas   |  Friday, 07 December 2012 at 3:59 pm


  52. AJOHMSS   |  Monday, 04 February 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you!

  53. MCZIPO   |  Tuesday, 19 February 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Like all the above. much thanks. Keep up the great work.

  54. Alvin   |  Monday, 04 March 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I have just read all the comments and suggestions on vc-red. would it be ok to click search then type in VC-Red or uninstall in the control panel? Thanks, Al.

  55. Alan   |  Tuesday, 05 March 2013 at 6:24 am

    I don’t think you can get rid of it that way. Just go into Explorer and manually delete the files.

  56. Alvin   |  Wednesday, 06 March 2013 at 6:02 pm


  57. jgp   |  Sunday, 10 March 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Thanks so muchhhhhh!!!!!

  58. PFNnewMedia   |  Tuesday, 12 March 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Except you CANT delete them. It tells you you need to have permission. Even if you add in the TakeOwnership Reg edits, it still will NOT let you delete these files. You get a constant “you need permission from Administrator to make changes to this file”.

  59. Alan   |  Tuesday, 12 March 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I had no problems like that so not sure what to tell you. Are you running as Admin?

  60. Rúben P.   |  Wednesday, 03 April 2013 at 6:51 am

    thank you, i was scared to delete these files, thank you for share this with us.

  61. Anuj Kalra   |  Thursday, 11 April 2013 at 12:42 pm

    U, my dear friend, are a life saver!!

  62. Anuj Kalra   |  Thursday, 11 April 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I installed MS Visual Studio 2012 recently!
    Could this software be the culprit?

    and how do I prevent this from happening again?

  63. Simran Sharma   |  Sunday, 02 June 2013 at 3:39 am

    Thank you so much… its very kind of u.

  64. Sunny   |  Friday, 07 June 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks! Will report back if anything bad happens upon deleting – though it shouldn’t … This was my culprit >>>>

    ProductName=Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package

    And oddly enough, I too just used my WD 2tb external for the first time like some others here have. … hmmm

    If this problem persists I will probably delete that particular update as long as it doesn’t affect anything else. Won’t know till I try.
    … Damn you Microsoft!!

  65. What is thumbs.db in Windows? | Making Windows Easy - All Things Microsoft, Software, and the Web   |  Tuesday, 11 June 2013 at 7:01 am

    [...] creates lots of mysterious files, many of which are hidden by default. VC_Red has proven especially confusing for many customers, as it mysteriously appears in Explorer, with a [...]

  66. Patti Bostick   |  Thursday, 13 June 2013 at 4:00 pm

    can I delete vc red cabinet file? I have deleted all the smaller temp vc red but I don’t know about this.

  67. Alan   |  Friday, 14 June 2013 at 5:52 am

    Yes. Every single file.

  68. Patti Bostick   |  Friday, 14 June 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you very very much.

  69. Gilbert   |  Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 4:22 am

    Thanks for posting :)

  70. IAN   |  Monday, 15 July 2013 at 5:48 pm

    thanks. Your answer verifies Microsoft support site comment that the files are installed on the drive that has the most available space (and that they can be deleted) In my case the secondary D:/ drive.

  71. Stef   |  Wednesday, 18 September 2013 at 9:01 am

    You could also click on install, then you got option to repair or uninstall MS V C++

    When uninstall is done all files are gone.

  72. vince   |  Wednesday, 16 October 2013 at 10:47 pm

    those files are on my C:/ drive… this is a breather, i thought i couldn’t delete thos files.. thanks for the post.. really a helper..

  73. Jeff   |  Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 4:25 am

    I found the Darn things on my Brand New 32 Gb Sandisk USB Plug in memory device . Now it says the Darn thing is write protected and I’m running as Admin and I can’t delete them. Haven’t tried de-installing it, its the 2nd time its happen’t I returned the 1st @ Office depot and I’m kinda afraid to try returning this one it’s a 32 Gb Sandisk. If de-installing doesn’t work I’m contacting Sandisk and gettig the info. Maybe they have a program to re-initialize it.If Anyone hasor had the same give a yell plesae. Thanks

  74. Alone   |  Saturday, 23 November 2013 at 6:31 pm


  75. Kathryn   |  Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you!!!

  76. joan   |  Thursday, 06 March 2014 at 7:22 am

    WTF. i’ve deleted these files an my pc stopped

  77. Mahi   |  Sunday, 27 April 2014 at 10:05 am

    I’m a little confused.
    joan’s pc crashed so I don’t know what to do.
    Can someone help me please?!

  78. Linda   |  Tuesday, 27 May 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Mahi, I have just deleted all these files from my D: Drive and run CCleaner and everything is fine :)

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