Folders - Program Files & Program Files (x86)

I have recently installed Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS. I have noticed it created two folders one "program files" and one "program files (x86). From what I have read so far the x86 folder is for 32 bit apps and the other for 64 bit apps. My question is:

I only want my OS and any critical apps on my SSD C drive so I created an E drive that I put all other apps on. On the E drive I have created only one folder "program files" and have been putting all other apps in it.

Everything appears to be working OK but should I have also created a folder x86 on the E drive and install all 32 bit apps in it or does the OS just know what to do regardless of the folder it is in?

Thanks for any advise,
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  1. Best answer
    The ".EXE" files of the applications have their own flags to indicate whether they're 32- or 64-bit, so the system will recognize them properly no matter what folder they're in. You can put everything into one folder on your E: drive if you want.

    I think the reason Windows creates two "Program Files" directories is in case people want to install both 32- and 64-bit versions of the same program. For example, when you install 64-bit Photoshop into the "Program Files" folder, it also installs the 32-bit version into the "Program Files (x86)" folder.

    Unless you plan to install multiple versions of the same program on your E:, one folder should work just fine.
  2. Best answer selected by Tom Bogowitz.
  3. Thanks sminlal. I just needed to hear it from someone, but that's what I thought.
  4. also when installing just change c: to d: at the start of the path and the correct folder structure will be created.
  5. I came across this post. Maybe someone could help me. My Win7 x64 installation also created the two Program Files folders.

    On my system when most programs install into the Program Files (x86) folder they do not run properly. For programs which allow me to select the install location I have been just pointing to the root folder (c:\<subject program>)

    I know this is not optimal and very messy - but only way to get some programs to work.

    New problem also has popped up lately - in the post I am quoting there is a hyperlink for "folder structure". When my mouse floats over it accidently an ad popup window appears, this one is for Win7 by Kontera - Ad Choices.

    Well the "x" close of the popup will not allow me to close it... very annoying - solutions?

    Can someone shed light on the issue? Dan
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