What is Windows Program Files and Program Files (x86)

Program filesIf you're running a 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows, you may have noticed that there are two different but similar folders; a Programs Files folder, which contains 64-bit applications, and a Programs Files (x86) folder, which contains 32-bit applications. The reason for the separation is backwards compatibility as the two architectures are fundamentally different. For example, Windows may utilize the WoW64 emulator with older 32-bit programs to make them run smoothly in 64-bit environment.

Tip: If you're having trouble locating a program in the Programs Files folder, try looking in the Programs Files (x86) folder.

Why is it called x86?

This term comes from the x86 platform name, which first originated from the Intel 8086 processor. See the x86 definition for additional information and links relating to this term.

Additional information