Difference between System32 and SysWOW64 folders in Windows 10


If y’all been using Windows OS for unopen to time, I am certain y’all must own got seen this System32 folder. However, If y’all are on a 64-bit PC, y’all must own got noticed that in that location are 2 folders inward your C:\Windows directory.  The outset is System32 as well as the instant is SysWOW64. In this post, nosotros are going to acquire near them, as well as the difference betwixt System32 as well as SysWOW64 folders inward Windows 10.

If y'all been using Windows OS for unopen to fourth dimension Difference betwixt System32 as well as SysWOW64 folders inward Windows 10

What is System32 folder

The System32 folder all the organization files. These are ordinarily DLL or library files. They are the most mutual programs used past times applications to access Windows features. Apart from this, programs which install on your reckoner tin forcefulness out besides shop files within it.

When y’all install a program, 2 things ambit off on a broader level. The top dog programme (EXE) is installed on Programs folder piece its DLL (which packs inward its functions etc.) are stored inward System32 folders. This is the mutual practice.

What is SysWOW64 folder

Have y’all noticed a C:\Program Files (x86) folder on your 64-bit PC?  Here x86 way 32-bit. So to install 32-bit programs on a 64-bit machine, C:\Program Files (x86) is used. While C:\Program Files folder contains 64-bit programs as well as their files.

Now y’all may hold upwardly drawing an analogy that the SysWOW64 folder must hold upwardly containing exclusively 64-bit DLLs. That was the actual intention, but it did non piece of work out. If y’all manually check, in that location are a lot of 64-bit DLL inward System 32 folder as well as 32-bit DLL inward SysWOW64 folder.

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So why is a 32-bit marked folder having a 64-bit folder, as well as why is a 64-bit marked folder housing all the 32-bit DLLs?

Difference betwixt System32 as well as SysWOW64 folders

Both are organization folders, as well as they comprise system-wide DLL or files. However, they only don’t adhere to their name, cheers to hard-coded programming.

On a 64-bit computer, 64-bit programs store-

  • Primary files similar EXE inward C:\Program Files.
  • System-wide files similar DLL etc. inward C:\Windows\System32 folder contains 64-bit libraries.

However, the 32-bit programs store-

  • Primary files inward C:\Program Files (x86)
  • System-wide folder is C:\Windows\SysWOW64.

When a 32-bit programme wants to install their 32-bit DLL files into C:\Windows\System32, it volition hold upwardly redirected to C:\Windows\SysWOW64. This essentially makes the System32 concur exclusively 64-bit libraries. Microsoft could non withdraw it because it would own got broken a lot of programs.

What happened is that most of the developers who rolled out their 32-bit applications on a 64-bit organization where all the same using C:\Windows\System32. This was hard-coded into their program. Since Microsoft did non desire to interruption programs, they devised this redirection.

This makes certain that everything is happening inward the background without developers needing to do much work. Whenever something is requested past times a 32-bit programme from System32 folder, it is silently redirected to SysWOW64 folder which holds all the 32-bit DLL. There is no redirection needed for the 64-bit programme every bit they own got the default folders inward place.

In short: Windows x64 has a System32 folder that contains 64-bit DLLs. H5N1 instant SysWOW64 folder contains the 32-bit DLLs. Native 64-bit processes notice their DLLs where they human face them to viz inward the System32 folder. For 32-bit processes, the OS redirects requests as well as shows them the SysWOW64 folder.

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The same was done for Windows Registry every bit good – 32-bit as well as 64-bit programs are separated.

The WOW in SysWOW64

Instead of naming it every bit System64, Microsoft named this folder every bit SysWOW64. WOW stands for Windows (32-bit) on Windows (64-bit). 32-bit applications were able to run on 64-bit applications, as well as that’s how it got its name.

Microsoft did non come across it coming for sure else System32 folder would non own got never got its name. It could own got been rather simpler. However, it was an first-class conclusion non to rename the folder as well as instead job a redirection. It made certain both consumers as well as developers did non lose their app when they moved to 64-bit.

While 32-bit systems are tardily phasing out, as well as replaced alongside 64-bit computers, it’s going to own got unopen to time. Probably inward futurity Microsoft mightiness do something near it. Hopefully, in that location is no difficult coding in 64-bit coding.

Read next: Sysnative folder inward Windows 64-bit explained.

Source: https://www.thewindowsclub.com/


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