You might have noticed that your computer has two folders for program files instead of one, and you might be wondering why. Here’s a brief explanation for why your computer has two folders for program files and why this is absolutely necessary for your operating system and programs to run smoothly.
Why Are There Two Folders For Program Files?
Nearly every running computer these days are capable of processing 64 bit code and are also running a 64 bit version of Windows. Chances are, however, that your computer still runs quite a few 32 bit programs (x86).
These two codes, however, are incompatible. A 32 bit program cannot interact with a 64 bit program. For example, if a 32 bit program goes searching for a file and comes across a file written in the 64 bit programming code, it will be unable to process it. Interacting with the foreign file will likely cause the program to crash.
How Does Having Two Folders for Program Files Fix This?
To get around this conundrum, Windows created two file folders; one to contain the older 32 bit programs (x86) and one for the 64 bit programs. When a program goes looking to interact with another program, it will keep interaction confined to the program file folder in which it resides.
When I Install a New Program, How Do I Know Which Folder it Goes In?
Let Windows automatically decide which of the two folders for program files it should be contained in. Windows will automatically recognize where the program files should be stored.