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Windows 7: Program Files (x86)

24 Jul 2011   #1
eknirb

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 
Program Files (x86)

I notice in my new C Drive for my new HP--it says Program Files, and also Program Files (x86). Whazzat mean?


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24 Jul 2011   #2
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

That is perfectly normal for a 64-bit system. In theory, 64-bit programs go into the Program Files folder and 32-bit ones go into the Program Files (x86) folder. At least, that's the theory. It doesn't always work like this, but most of the time it does. In short, it doesn't really matter too much which of the directories a program is installed to, just accept the default that the installer wishes to use.
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24 Jul 2011   #3
t-4-2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eknirb View Post
I notice in my new C Drive for my new HP--it says Program Files, and also Program Files (x86). Whazzat mean?
It is normal when you have a 64-bit Win 7.

In layman terms.....

Programs File contains what are relevant to 64-bit.

Program File (x86) contains what are relevant to 32-bit.
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25 Jul 2011   #4
Imperfect1

 
 

In other words, a 64 bit system allows one to utilize BOTH 32 bit and 64 bit programs and apps. The system automatically places the 64 bit programs/apps and the 32 bit programs/apps into two separate program folders.
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25 Jul 2011   #5
bru

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dwarf View Post
That is perfectly normal for a 64-bit system. In theory, 64-bit programs go into the Program Files folder and 32-bit ones go into the Program Files (x86) folder. At least, that's the theory. It doesn't always work like this, but most of the time it does. In short, it doesn't really matter too much which of the directories a program is installed to, just accept the default that the installer wishes to use.
Most of my programs have gone in Program Files (x86) even though I have plenty of 64 bit programs. Like you say I just let them install wherever it tells me but I wonder does it really make no difference?

Will the 64bit programs function that way they are supposed to if they install in Program Files (x86)? If I know it is a 64bit program should I put it in Program Files even if it doesn't want to install there?
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25 Jul 2011   #6
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Don't move them they will stop working because of registry entries. It doesn't matter where they are installed. It is just a convention.
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25 Jul 2011   #7
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Anything installed into the (x86) program files should be a 32bit program. With that said, it will then be running inside WOW64, where the OS obfuscates all of the 32bit paths to look like they would on a 32bit system, including the registry. They will work fine if installed to (x86) if they're 64bit apps as well, as the OS can tell the bitness of a binary when it starts and do the appropriate things necessary to run natively or under WOW64.
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25 Jul 2011   #8
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

One other point that I didn't see mentioned yet is that having the dual (Program Files & Program Files (x86)) directory structure allows the installation of BOTH 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the same program to be installed on a machine.
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25 Jul 2011   #9
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Good point. I never really thought about that.
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 Program Files (x86)




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