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Duplicate Program Files folders

    Question

  • After upgrading from Window 7 Home Premium to Professional, I noticed that I now have two Program Files folders.  One has the designation "(x86)" behind it.  They are not quite identical, but most of the folders in the original are also in the new folder and the duplicates are the same size.  This seems like an awful waste of hard drive space.  How do I get rid of the duplicates?
    Wednesday, November 04, 2009 10:44 PM

Answers

  • Strongly urge you NOT to try removing it.

    You have installed 64-bit Windows, and the dual 'Program files' structure is 'by design'.  32-bit software programs, by default, install to the 'Program files (x86)' folder.  This is to minimise or eliminate the risk of having both 32-bit and 64-bit installs of the same program present, and their installation files creating conflicts and/or performance problems.

    Some software applications programs install both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the program, so you should leave the structure as it is. 

    If, on your machine, the contents are almost entirely 'duplicated' then that must mean that a large proportion of the software you have installed installs both platform versions.  On a machine here I just then checked, the (64-bit) Program Files folder was approximately 3Gb in size, whilst the (32-bit) Program Files (x86) folder was approximately 11Gb in size.



    It's not "waste", you can be sure of that!
    Wednesday, November 04, 2009 11:42 PM

All replies

  • Strongly urge you NOT to try removing it.

    You have installed 64-bit Windows, and the dual 'Program files' structure is 'by design'.  32-bit software programs, by default, install to the 'Program files (x86)' folder.  This is to minimise or eliminate the risk of having both 32-bit and 64-bit installs of the same program present, and their installation files creating conflicts and/or performance problems.

    Some software applications programs install both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the program, so you should leave the structure as it is. 

    If, on your machine, the contents are almost entirely 'duplicated' then that must mean that a large proportion of the software you have installed installs both platform versions.  On a machine here I just then checked, the (64-bit) Program Files folder was approximately 3Gb in size, whilst the (32-bit) Program Files (x86) folder was approximately 11Gb in size.



    It's not "waste", you can be sure of that!
    Wednesday, November 04, 2009 11:42 PM
  • Sharon,

    As I read and understand your explanation for the duplicate Program Files Folders (with and without x86 designation), when I clean installed Win7 Pro 64 bit OS from Win7 Pro 32 bit on my laptop, it duplicated major Windows programs in both folders  The duplicate files are Internet Explorer, Windows Defender, Mail, Media Player, NT, Photo Viewer, Portable Devices and Sidebar.

    Does this mean that these duplicate Windows apps are needed for 32 bit and 64 bit software to be able to work with them respectively?  Do I really need a 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Internet Explorer, Windows Defender, Mail, Media Player, NT, Photo Viewer, Portable Devices and Sidebar?

    It would have been nicer just to have one set of these Windows applications that works with both 32 bit and 64 bit software.  These Windows applications do use a lot of HDD real estate.  It would also be good to be able to have the option of uninstalling one of the duplicate sets.  Is the ability to do just that available now?




    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:48 AM
  • Great help ... cut through all the tech jargon in the searches I have done.

    Saved my Axs.

    Saturday, January 14, 2012 4:57 PM
  • You seem to suggest that the software would automatically know the best configuration to install the files in the appropriate 'program files' folder. I believe this also means that users are expected to choose the default installation settings. 

    Would like to know if it is possible for users who prefer to implement custom settings during their installation, to know where best to designate the program to be saved in? more explicitly, whether or not to install it in the x86 or regular program files folder. 

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:01 AM
  • You'd think the powers-that-be would've named the folders "Program files(x32)" and "Program files(x64)" to correlate with 32-bit and 64-bit software installs.   Whbat does "x86" have to do with anything, other than confuse everyone ?
    Sunday, August 05, 2012 2:08 PM
  • I have checked my program files (x86) folder and found drivers for both 32 and 64bit versions there.

    Where is the logic in that?   These 64bit drivers should not be in the (x86) folder.

    Is Windows 7 making the decision on where to install them or is it the program itself that makes that decision?

    If Win7 64bit OS need only 64bit drivers, why should I not delete redundant 32bit drivers that can not work on this system?

    Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:30 AM
  • Regardless of the rationale for the two folders, it is actually the installer technology that drives the placement of files in one folder versus the other.  So regardless of whether the installed software is x86 or x64, a non-64-bit installer will install into x86.
    Thursday, September 13, 2012 4:16 PM
  • Hi kitzkamp,

    If you are having trouble to remove duplicate folders and files, I suggest you to download the duplicate files deleter, its a third party program and I had been using it because its very useful and make things easier for us.

    Saturday, November 03, 2012 7:04 PM
  • Hi "Duplicate Files Deleter"  is the best software to solved your problem 
    • Edited by rastelto Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:25 AM
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:25 AM
  • You'd think the powers-that-be would've named the folders "Program files(x32)" and "Program files(x64)" to correlate with 32-bit and 64-bit software installs.   Whbat does "x86" have to do with anything, other than confuse everyone ?

    "x86"  is the long-standing term for earlier Intel processor architecture (eg,  8086, 286, 386 486....)

    That's 16-bit and 32-bit.

    By the way, does anyone know if there are any other system differences when you use the (x86) folder?  For example, does it look for DLLs in the SysWOW64 path before  system32 or anything like that?





    • Edited by akossowsky Thursday, January 30, 2014 3:19 PM
    Thursday, January 30, 2014 3:17 PM