I changed the default location of "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)" by editing the Registry:

"ProgramFilesDir (x86)"="E:\\ProgramFiles\\32bits"
"CommonFilesDir (x86)"="E:\\CommonFiles\\32bits"

For 64-bit apps, it is working fine.

But for 32-bit apps, this configuration is not working! All apps try to install in "C:\Program Files (x86)", and I need to change this location manually. After installing in "E:\ProgramFiles\32bits" (which exists), the app works fine. These apps are: NVIDIA Driver, VMware Workstation 12, VLC, Steam, Free Download Manager, Partition Wizard.

Why is this Registry change not working? What can I do to fix it?

  • What do you mean by "it is not working"? Do you mean that the programs you've installed are not working, or that when you install a program it is still prompting to install to the original location, or something else? – music2myear Jan 26 '17 at 19:46
  • sorry, I clarified the question. "...All apps try to install in "c:\Program Files (x86)", and I need to change this location manually..." – apagando_tudo Jan 26 '17 at 19:50

When 32-bit programs access certain parts of the Registry, they are subject to WOW64 redirection. For compatibility purposes, they get a different view of the Registry than what's actually there. Therefore, installer programs that are 32-bit don't see your changes.

You need to also change the values in this path:


Then 32-bit applications will see and use the settings you choose.

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