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Windows 7, 8 64 bit "C:\Program Files (x86)" or "C:\Progra


New Member
What I want is a simple answer. Failing that, an answer that is not too complicated.
In my line of work, I am continually installing and reinstalling Windows and, on top, client-specified applications.
Ever since I went over to Windows x64; first, version 7; then 8, now 8.1, I have had recurring niggles and problems.
Initially, I always went with the suggested default installation base folder, which, for all the older 32 bit applications was, and still is: "C:\Program Files (x86)"
I continued accepting this default location, after I upgraded to Windows 8, and yes, with 8.1.
Now, I don't remember exactly when the very first niggles got me scratching my head but it started, so far as far as I can remember anyway: When an application that I had installed, could not find its associated icon because, according to the shortcut, it could not be found in its default location: "C:\Program Files\...". Of course it couldn't! The program in question, take your pick: Opera and Thunderbird, (Yes, I know they're both from the same place), was installed in "C:\Programs Files (x86)\" but the shortcut was looking for the associated icon in "C:\Program Files"! Now, yes, I know, that all 32 bit programs are, by default, installed to "C:\Programs and Files (x86)". This is easy to understand and explain: it separates all those 32 bit applications from their superior 64 bit brethren.
I have since adopted the policy of changing the default location, when installing any of my old 32 bit programs, from "C:\Program Files (x86)" to the plain old vanilla "C:\Program Files" with no problems so far.
MY QUESTION IS THIS: If I choose to install ALL my old 32 bit programs to "C:\Program Files" rather than the default "C:\Program Files (x86)", WHAT, IF ANY, ARE THE POSSIBLE NEGATIVE CONSEQUNCES. THERE. I HAVE ASKED A STRAIGHT QUESTION. I EXPECT A STRAIGHT ANSWER. Thanks, Chris Bodragon

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows xp, 7, 8, 8.1
    Computer type
    Intel Core i7-2670QM
    Dell XPS
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce GT 525M
    Opera, Firefox, Chrome Explorer
    MS Security Essentials


Active Member
Pro User
My recommendation would be to accept the default installation folder. The default was not chosen lightly and was made with full knowledge of how 32 bit applications operate in a 64 bit OS. This is far more complex than most people imagine. There are multiple reasons why this was chosen, some quite complex, some I do not fully understand.

It was intended that 32 bit applications would be installed to the "Program Files(x64)" folder. When you do not do this you must expect that there may be undesired consequences. It is possible that some applications may not function properly.

Do not attempt to move installed applications. That is very difficult and can fail in a wide variety of ways

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    Computer type