I'm trying to change the default install path in Windows 7 Pro x64. I'm in the Registry Editor and in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion key. I know I need to change ProgramFilesDir and ProgramFilesDir (x86).

What I'm not sure about is the CommonFilesDir, CommonFilesDir (x86) and the ProgramW6432Dir. Do I need to or should I change these values to reflect the new program files directory I'm using?

I tried Googling ProgramW6432Dir and didn't get much help.

  • possible duplicate of Is there a way to move c:\program files elsewhere? Mar 3, 2012 at 21:06
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    I noticed that question, but the answers only deal with what I state I already know. I'm asking about other values in RegEdit.
    – Brack
    Mar 3, 2012 at 21:25
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    Well I wound up just changing the drive letter for each of the values I listed, preserving the original structure for the new drive. I also changed the same values in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> WOW6432Node -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Current Version. This all seems to be working fine now. There is also a CommonW6432Dir I forgot to mention that was changed as well.
    – Brack
    Mar 4, 2012 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


No idea, but this would be my approach.

I would change the Common FilesDir and the (x86) to point to the new target.

Not sure what the W6432Dir is, but my guess is the path that x86 programs will report when they try to lookup the path of Program Files when running under an x64 OS. Because I don't think this points to a real folder, I'd be extra cautious about this one and do some thorough testing.

This, to me, looks like an incomplete solution. A better solution is to move the folder and drop a junction or a Symlink. This solution would be more bulletproof because it would catch programs who decide to find Program Files through other means.

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    Well thanks for trying. I wound up pointing everything to new directories, preserving the original structure and it appears to be working. So far no issues.
    – Brack
    Mar 4, 2012 at 18:58
  • @surfasb Great tip...
    – user79032
    Mar 4, 2012 at 19:57

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