I am using Windows 7 64bit version.

I found notepad.exe in the following three paths:


I know C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe contains 64bit app and C:\Windows\SysWOW64\notepad.exe contains 32bit app.

Why is it stored in the C:\Windows\notepad.exe?
Which version of app is it either 64 or 32 bit?
When I use notepad shortcut through the Windows+R, which app is going to be execute?

Note: I am asking this question in specific way using notepad.exe, like notepad.exe I can see some other files also.


The reasoning behind the redundant files is, in short, Compatibility [see here]

In the 64-bit version of Windows, both the %SYSTEMROOT%\notepad.exe and the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\notepad.exe executables are the same file and thus of 64-bit nature.

As for which file Win+R references, I believe it's based on whatever directory is listed first in the %PATH% variable. This is, by default, %SYSTEMROOT%\System32

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