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Windows 7: Programs in both programfiles and programfiles x86

22 Jul 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Programs in both programfiles and programfiles x86

I got programs like Internet Explorer, Windows defender, Windows Sidebar, and Nvidia Corporation in both "program files" and "program files x86". Especially the Nvidia Corporation takes up alot of space.

Why do i have the same programs in both folders and can i delete one of the parts?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2014   #2

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

Welcome to the forum.

I would strongly recommend that you leave these files and folders alone. There technical reasons for the apparent duplication that are quite complex and I will not attempt to explain them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2014   #3

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Lund, and welcome to Seven Forums. :)

Basically, these are for 32-bit (Program Files x86) and 64-bit (Program Files) versions and files for the program.

As Larry posted above, DO NOT DELETE them. They are required for the programs to function properly. Doing so will make Windows unstable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Jul 2014   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Ok. Thanks guys
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2014   #5

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Glad we could help. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2014   #6


When you download the latest nVidia driver and run the installer 2 things happen:

1. The downloaded installer extracts and downloads all the files necessary to do the actual installation and puts these where you tell it
2. Then it performs the installation using the files extracted in step 1.

What you probably did is have the installer extract to the same folder used for the final installation. This pretty much doubles the amount of space used because you get both the extracted files and the installed ones.

What I do to avoid this is to use a temporary folder for step 1, let step 2 complete (it will automatically find the extracted files it needs), and then delete the files in step 1.

Also, the Progam Files directory was established back in the days of 32-bit Windows. When 64-bit became available Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to separate the 32-bit programs from the 64-bit ones, so they established Program Files(x86) for 32-bit programs and planned on using Program Files for 64 bit programs.

Since a lot of program installer software had the name "Program Files" hard coded into it Microsoft created a Junction Link from Program Files to Program Files(X86). This made the installer programs install into Program Files (X86) even though they thought they were installing into Program Files. 64-bit programs were supposed to go into Program Files, but in fact the whole issue is more confusing than it's worth. You can install either 32 or 64 bit programs into either place and they will run OK.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Programs in both programfiles and programfiles x86

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