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What is the difference between "Program Files", and "Program Files (x86)"? I have Windows 7 64-Bit I have both of those files, and no I never upgraded, or changed os.

asked Jul 12 '10 at 20:48

Madison%20Tries's gravatar image

Madison Tries

edited Jul 12 '10 at 22:10

Why is this getting so many views, yet so little questions? lol

(Jul 24 '10 at 22:01) Madison Tries Madison%20Tries's gravatar image

When you're running Windows 64bit you will have both of these folders.
"Program files" is the 64bit (x64) program files folder, and "program files (x86)" is your 32bit (x86) program files folder.
Because with Windows 64bit you can run 64bit and 32bit software.
I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit.
Hope I helped.

answered Jul 12 '10 at 22:00

Blind%20Fury's gravatar image

Blind Fury

Wouldn't it be simpler to keep only a 'Program Files' folder? I have Vista 64-bit, and the same duology of folders. Seeing as both types of programs run OK, I believe the folder structure should be transparent. (then again, I'm not working for Microsoft...)

answered Jul 14 '10 at 01:37

LukeSBE's gravatar image


edited Jul 14 '10 at 01:37

They're kept separate so you can have both the 32bit and 64bit version of the same software installed at the same time. It's also there for compatibility, as some 32bit programs depend on certain resources being in the "Common Files" folder that wouldn't usually be available (or overwritten by a 64bit version) on a 64bit system.

Microsoft themselves uses it this way for some of their own applications. You have two copies of Windows Media Player, one 32bit (in Program Files (x86)) and the other 64bit (in Program Files).

(Jul 14 '10 at 14:28) Leapo Leapo's gravatar image
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Asked: Jul 12 '10 at 20:48

Seen: 13,927 times

Last updated: Jul 24 '10 at 22:01