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Program Files (x86)

By Hikermann · 8 replies
Nov 25, 2018
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  1. PC / Windows 7: in C:\ there is 1) Program Files and 2) Program Files (x86); why the two and what is the difference; should/could one or the other be deleted? Thank you.
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,742   +1,489

    [edited] content removed [/edited]

    Frequently you will find the same application in both locations, which says it can run in either mode.

    You need BOTH
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  3. Hikermann

    Hikermann TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thank you / appreciated.
     
  4. NeedAssist

    NeedAssist TS Member Posts: 26

    Sorry. That's incorrect.

    When running 32-bit Windows, there's only a Program Files directory. And yes, that's where all your 32 applications are located.

    However, when running 64-bit Windows
    • Program Files contains your 64-bit applications
    • Program Files (x86) contains your 32-bit applications
    In any case definitely agree you need both. DO NOT DELETE
     
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,742   +1,489

    Given that the Program Files (x86) directory exists, we know the system is running 64bit :grin:
     
  6. NeedAssist

    NeedAssist TS Member Posts: 26

    Yes. Of course. So what?

    You seem to have missed or side stepped the heart of my post. The reader should understand Program Files (x86) contains 32-bit apps NOT 64-bit apps as was previously stated

    /* EDIT */
    And also, Program Files aren't always 32-bit. It contains 64-bit apps when running 64-bit Windows. Me thinks you got it reversed
     
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,742   +1,489

    Indeed, I crossed my hands (memory)on the subject:
    in summary, on a 32-bit version of Windows, you just have a “C:\Program Files” folder. This contains all your installed programs, all of which are 32-bit.

    On a 64-bit version of Windows, 64-bit programs are stored in the “C:\Program Files” folder and 32-bit programs are stored in the “C:\Program Files (x86)” folder.

    That’s why different programs are spread across the two Program Files folders, seemingly at random. The ones in the “C:\Program Files” folder are 64-bit, while the ones in the “C:\Program Files (x86)” folder are 32-bit.​

    Sorry for the confusion :sigh:
     
  8. GaryMove

    GaryMove TS Enthusiast Posts: 166   +11

    I would not recommend to touch them at all.
     
  9. xcy7e

    xcy7e TS Rookie Posts: 20

    The main reason for having 'em both is backward compatibility. The next two decades you probably won't get rid of it.
     

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