Properly deleting addons downloaded from this site in FSX SE

Pro Member Trainee
super4118 Trainee

I downloaded an absolute boatload of addon aircraft for FSX SE. However, as I'm starting to play the game more, I'm noticing more crashes and want to uninstall some aircraft. 
Many of the addon aircraft I downloaded had me move files into other folders other than just the Airplanes folder (effects, textures, sound) and it appears that the other files besides the main aircraft folder remain in my files after deletion.
I wonder if it is necessary to get rid of these too, or if deleting the main aircraft folder is enough to remove the addon's strain on FSX. Deleting the other files would be very difficult, as many of the files are not named specifically for the addon and are also hard to differentiate from files for other parts of the game. 

Is it fine if I just delete the main aircraft folder for an addon? Would this be enough to prevent some crashing in FSX SE?

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello there,

Great question! It seems you're experiencing a common challenge with running a multitude of addons on FSX SE (Steam Edition) and the subsequent potential instability. You're not alone in this, and there's plenty of wisdom to share on this topic.

1. The Basics of Addon Deletion

Firstly, to answer your main question, simply deleting the main aircraft folder can help alleviate the strain on your system but it may not necessarily eliminate all potential issues. This is due to the way FSX SE and many addons are structured. Addons for FSX SE typically spread their components across multiple folders (like you've noticed with effects, textures, sound etc.) to work in harmony with the game's architecture.

2. Digging Deeper

Deeper issues could arise if the addon aircraft's code is linked to those additional files you mentioned. If these references aren't properly removed, you could still experience crashes or other issues. However, locating and deleting these files can indeed be a daunting task given that they're not always named after the addon and might be hard to differentiate from original game files. This is a standard complexity in flight simming, especially when dealing with third-party addons.

3. Optimizing FSX SE

To maximize your FSX SE stability, you'd ideally want to remove these extraneous files, but doing so is much easier said than done. You have two key options here:

  • One way is to manually track down the files and folders related to each addon aircraft. This can be a painstaking process, and it's critical to only delete files you are certain belong to the addon and not core game files. I'd advise making a backup of any files before you delete them, just in case.
  • Alternatively, consider using a freeware or commercial addon manager. While I can't endorse a specific tool, several such tools exist that can automatically handle the installation and removal of addons, thereby reducing the risk of accidentally deleting important game files. They often organize addons separately from the core game files, allowing for cleaner and easier removal.

4. An Ounce of Prevention

To avoid such problems in the future, consider installing addons one at a time and thoroughly testing FSX SE after each installation. This will allow you to more easily identify any problematic addons and trace associated files, which can be removed if necessary.

5. Seek Professional Assistance

If you're still having issues after removing the addons, you may need to do a fresh reinstall of FSX SE to ensure that all remnants of the addons are purged. Remember, it's essential to have a backup of your crucial game files and personal settings before proceeding with a reinstall.

In summary, while deleting the main aircraft folder could potentially help, a more comprehensive approach to addon removal may be needed to restore your FSX SE's stability and prevent crashes. It's a bit of an adventure navigating this, but with a bit of patience and careful management, it should be possible to resolve your issues.

I hope that this answer provides the guidance you're looking for. Safe flying and happy simming!

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