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Windows 7: Move Program Fiies (x86) to Program Files

26 Oct 2015   #1
ellenc

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Move Program Fiies (x86) to Program Files

I have Tools/Options set to download files to Program Files. I believe I understand the difference between general Program Files and Program Files (x86); some programs can only be run in 32, not 64 bit. But there are many duplicate .exe programs in x86 and PFiles (Acronis, Belarc, Carbonite, Firetrust, Foxit, HP, Firefox, etc.). I've tried to delete than from x86 or cut/paste them but get this message: "The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program. Close the folder or a file and try again." I don't understand why a program that can run in PF 64 bit is also in (x86). This is not an earth-shaking question but would like a clarification from this great forum. Thanks. ellenc


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26 Oct 2015   #2
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

In a 64 bit OS 64 bit applications are stored in "Program Files" and 32 bit applications are stored in "Program Files(x86)". Many applications will have components in both folders. While these files may have the same name they are not duplicates. Typically they will have different sizes and are VERY different internally. One reason for the separate locations for 32 bit and 64 bit applications is so that when an application is updated the installer is able to update the files with the appropriate version. There are other reasons but they are more difficult to describe. This is all a lot more complex than it appears.

Most computer users should consider the "Program Files", "Program files (x86)" and the "Windows" folder and all of their subfolders as read only. You should not delete, add to, or modify their contents in any way. With the proper procedures it is possible to make changes but Windows Explorer will not inform the the system and other applications of the changes made. In many cases there is no way to do this anyway. Modifications are best left to experts who understand the implications. If computer users had any concept of the true complexity involved they would be much less eager to make changes.

On general principles is is better to download files to a folder created for this purpose and leave "Program Files" alone.
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26 Oct 2015   #3
ellenc

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Program Files and (x86)

WOW!!! I just learned a lot. Thanks! ellen
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 Move Program Fiies (x86) to Program Files




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