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Windows 7: Program Files or Program Files (x86)-Where to place downloaded program

14 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 HP 64-bit
Program Files or Program Files (x86)-Where to place downloaded program

My computers are both running Win 7 64-bit. I am thoroughly confused when it comes to placing programs that I download into their proper folders: That is, program files (x86) vs program files. I have read stuff on this, but still confused. for the most part, even when a dl'd program suggests being installed into PF, I, for whatever reason, place it into PF (x86). Although I have read that placing the program into the wrong folder may cause the program not to work properly, so far I have not had this problem...nor any other problems that I am aware of. Could someone please set me straight on this issue?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2011   #2
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

I let the installer put it where it is supposed to.

If I trust the software I trust they know best where it should be installed/placed.

If I can't trust the software maker why am I downloading/installing their program?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 32 bit

As Hopalong says, the installer should know where to put it. If it's a portable app that runs with no registry settings, maybe creates an .ini file, I usually create an empty folder for it under C:\Utils(a folder I create for utilities so as much as possible stays the same across flavors of Windows.)

A side effect of doing it this way rather than putting everything under Program Files is if I need to use a Restore Point, it doesn't back off every little utility to a previous version. It pretty much leaves my Utils and subfolders alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Dec 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by flycaster View Post
I, for whatever reason
You have no reason?

You have a reason, but you can't tell us about it for some other reason?

You flip a coin?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

The reason is quite simple; Program Files is the default for 64-bit applications and Program Files (x86) is the default for 32-bit applications. You should not try and change these paths.

Windows 64-bit: The 'Program Files (x86)' and 'SysWOW64' folders explained (Technical Article)

Program Files or Program Files (x86)-Where to place downloaded program-64-bit.jpg

As for any utility programs you download, I'm with MilesAhead on this one in that I've created a Utilities folder on my backup drive and install them there for safekeeping.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Program Files or Program Files (x86)-Where to place downloaded program

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