SimConnect: Safe to Uninstall?

While looking through my installed programs, I noticed that SimConnect Client is installed. I do not remember installing it. Maybe it was installed with an add-on. I have not downloaded or installed the SDK.

Is it part of the MSFS2020 install? I am on the MS Store version.

Is it safe to uninstall it?

Here is a screenshot. It seems very specific for MSFS.

Thanks

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SimConnect is the way external hardware and software talks the the sim. It gets installed with MSFS. You probably shouldn’t uninstall it.

Absolutely not, never, no way Jose. Do NOT uninstall this if you ever want a chance at making sure your sim works properly with any other 3rd party program.

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OK, thanks fellas !!!

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A post was split to a new topic: What would have caused MSFS to be removed?

Simconnect is not malware; it’s the unspoken official API by which the simulator communicates sim variables to external programs. This API has existed for the simulator since the early 2000s.

The simulator is a black box. No one can see what’s happening in this black box. However, SimConnect connects wires to this box, and each wire is labelled. Things like “True Airspeed”, “Indicated Airspeed”, “True Altitude”, “Visibility”, etc. With these wires exposed, other programs are now able to see what’s happening inside this black box.

No SimConnect, no wires, no 3rd party functions.

If you lost your sim installation, then either you accidentally damaged your installation or you got malware from elsewhere. Either way, SimConnect is not the reason your simulator could go missing.

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I don’t think this answer is 100% correct.

It is certainly very likely that some add-on installed this “SimConnect Client” (which in the end is a single SimConnect.dll file, the “client library” with which third party add-ons / external apps can communicate with the Flight Simulator, as also explained in another post here - and possibly some “helper / test” applications which go along with it, as the installed package claims to take 1.75 MB, whereas the actual (as of the latest MSFS SKD) SimConnect.dll is a mere 57 KB in size).

So if you would uninstall that “SimConnect Client” package then that (possibly multiple) add-on that installed this package in the first place would break.

But that doesn’t mean that all add-ons would break, as there are certainly multiple ways how an add-on (external application) can link to / find the required SimConnect.dll.

One approach would be that every third party application would ship its own copy of said SimConnect.dll, e.g. Little Navmap does just that. So Little Navmap certainly would not break if you uninstalled this “SimConnect Client” package.

That SimConnect.dll even is included in the FS 2020 installation directory itself, so third-party apps could dynamically link against that instance (if they didn’t want to ship their own copy). E.g. for the Steam edition of FS 2020 that libary is located here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\MicrosoftFlightSimulator

The bottom line is: that “SimConnect Client” package certainly does not come installed with FS 2020, so uninstalling it would not break FS 2020 itself! In fact, I don’t have that package installed myself:

And I do have the MSFS SDK installed (as seen in above screenshot), so that “SimConnect Client” package also does not come from the SDK.

Btw. here is the DLL in the SDK itself about which we are talking, for reference (it is really just the *.dll itself which is required “at runtime”, the *.lib file is for linking during development):

So if you really wanted to get rid of this “SimConnect Client” package you could uninstall it, figure out which add-on(s) or external applications break and then copy SimConnect.dll into their application directory. By default DLLs are searched for in the “executable path”, so the breaking app should continue working by finding the SimConnect.dll in its own path (again, you find a copy of SimConnect.dll in your FS 2020 installation directory).

But then again, I wouldn’t worry about 1.75 MB of disk space either :wink:

UPDATE:

Oh, and I am pretty sure that this “SimConnect Client” package does not come from the current FS 2020 SDK itself. That SDK only provides the “naked” SimConnect.dll (and the required development files: *.lib, header, variants for C# developers…), but not an installer / package of any kind.

E.g. I found some (assumed) “SimConnect Client” here:

SimConnect Client - FSEconomy Operations Guide

Specifically:

FSEconomy SimConnect Client

So that must be an installer from “the early days of flight simulators” which some add-on (external application) that you have installed is using :wink:

Thank you for that comprehensive reply. I knew that simconnect was something like a pipeline used to communicate data to and from the game. That being said, my thoughts were if it is poling the game, then it might be a source of some microstutters that I am having, so uninstalling might help.

Nowdays, the only addons that I use are ones that simply go into the community folder by use of addon linker…they do not go through a windows install routine.

I have created a restore point and will uninstall it and report back my findings.

Ah okay, if performance is of concern then trying to uninstall “everything that is not needed” is a valid motivation, too :wink:

That being said, the SimConnect DLL does not poll by itself. It is merely the “messenger” between FS 2020 and whatever 3rd-party add-on (be it an add-on that is installed as an “extension” in the community folder, or a “stand-alone application” such as Little Navmap).

So yes, it is my understanding that even (complex) “extension” add-ons - even though they are “technically running within the context of FS 2020 itself” - may still use SimConnect to communicate with FS 2020. Note that I am not an add-on (as in “extension of some flight model” etc.) developer myself, so I am only citing what I read in the Software Development Kit (SDK) documentation.

(But yes, I am currently developing a stand-alone application myself, using said SimConnect.dll).

Again, SimConnect.dll by itself does not do any work on its own; there must always be an actual “client software” (add-on in the community folder, an external application, …) that initiates the connection and then subsequently asks for and sets “simulation variables” (such as aircraft altitude, pitch, bank, latitude, longitude, …).

Or in other words: simply uninstalling that “SimConnect Client” package won’t give you any additional performace by itself; however you are likely to find that some add-on (or possibly external application - whoever installed that “SimConnect Client” package in the first place…) stops working. And that might give you then some additional performance (once you also uninstall / stop using that add-on) :wink:

Personally I only have some sceneries and liveries installed (naturally they do not “interact” with FS 2020, they just modify / add (terrain) data), plus the FlyByWire A320 mod (version 0.5 something or so, the one which works with the latest FS 2020 update). But even that mod did not install any such “SimConnect Client” package (it interacts with FS 2020 via the “normal extension points” for add-ons).

Maybe you have some additional aircrafts installed which might have installed that “SimConnect Client” package (some “legacy aircrafts” possibly that were ported in a “quick and dirty” manner to the new FS 2020, and hence (still) communicate via SimConnect.dll instead of whatever is now provided by the FS 2020 SDK?). Who knows… but you’ll find out soon enough :wink:

But I can assure you that neither the FS 2020 (at least the “Steam” version) nor (not even) the “MSFS SDK” have installed that “SimConnect Client” package - that must be coming from some add-on / external application that you once installed…

UPDATE:

I uninstalled simconnect client and the game still runs as before. It did not solve the micro stutter though.

There isn‘t much at the moment that requires Simconnect. FSUIPC does, I think Simlink (Navigraph charts) does, maybe some features of the Flybywire A320 mod, IDK. But in the future addons will definitely require Simconnect. Everything that runs outside of the sim environment and needs to interact with the sim will require it. Accusim for example, external EFBs or FMC devices, etc…

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