General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

What's this folder "Program Files (x86)"?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19041points) October 21st, 2010

I have Windows 7 installed on both my computers, but only the new laptop has both Program Files and Program Files (x86). What’s the difference? What do I put in each one? Why does only my laptop have x86, even though they both have the same OS?

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1 Answer

meiosis's avatar

The new laptop will have a 64-bit version of Windows 7 installed. On this machine, the Program Files is reserved for 64-bit applications and the Program Files (x86) is reserved for non 64-bit applications. On the other machine all the applications (which will be non 64-bit) go in the Program Files directory.

When you install software on the new machine, it will automatically place itself in the correct directory – for example, you can download the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer on that machine and it will install into the Program Files directory, whereas the 32-bit version of IE will install, on the same new laptop, in the Program Files (x86) directory.

In short, you don’t need to worry about it.

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