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I am running Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).

I have read that the difference between "C:\Program Files" versus "C:\Program Files (x86)" is that one is for 32-bit executables whereas the other is for 64-bit executables.

Could someone please point out to me which is which? (I ask because I have been following the installation instructions for some software I downloaded and the instructions do not make it clear which is which). Thanks.


NOTE: This question is a simplified version of this one, which contains more detail on the issue.

marked as duplicate by Ramhound, EBGreen, Moab windows-7 Oct 8 '15 at 13:01

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the folder C:\Program Files (x86) is for 32-bit application and C:\Program Files is for 64-bit application that can run on windows 64 bit.

If you have a windows 32 bit you have only C:\Program Files on your C drive

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On any 64-bit version of Windows:

  • The “Program Files” folder is for 64-bit programs.
  • The “Program Files (x86)” folder is for 32-bit programs.

This is to ensure compatibility with legacy versions of Windows programs.

Windows versions which are 32-bit only have a "Program Files" directory.

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