What is a System32 folder

What are the Windows 10 System32 and SysWOW64 folders?

In these folders we mainly find all system files. They are the most important folders in Windows 10 and therefore folders we should never touch.


System32, the heart of Windows 10

System32 is that Main directory of Windows without which it couldn't even start booting. This directory is full of all types of 64-bit DLL libraries and other executable files required for the operating system to start up and function. Windows comes standard with a large number of DLLs that are required for everything to work properly. However, some programs can also install their own libraries here so that they can be used when needed.

64-bit programs are usually installed in the program Files "Folder. In each directory of the programs we find other own DLL libraries that are necessary for the functioning of the program in question. However, if any are missing, this program looks for them directly in the System32 directory of Windows 10. If the program is well designed it also accesses the libraries offered by Windows in this directory instead of duplicating libraries.

In this folder we can also find certain 64-bit driver libraries, although the drivers have other specific folders.

SysWOW64, the 32-bit compatibility layer

While we can see a 64 in its name and most likely believe that this folder is related to 64 bits, in reality it is just the opposite. The SysWOW64 Folder is the folder that is responsible for storing all of the libraries and programs that are needed for 32-bit software too Run smoothly on 64-bit Windows 10.

This folder is, by and large, the necessary one Compatibility Layer to ensure that all the programs we can install work regardless of their structure. So if we run a 32-bit program (which is installed in the Program Files (x86) folder) and cannot find the required libraries or dependencies in its directory, it will be placed here. This is absolutely necessary because a 32-bit program would crash directly when loading a 64-bit library. Hence, this folder is another important requirement for Windows 10 to function properly.

As in System32, we can also find 32-bit driver libraries in this folder.

Windows 10 32-bit does not have this folder

If we have a 32-bit operating system installed, that will SysWOW64 folder will not exist on the system. This is because the System32 folder stores all of the libraries, programs, and dependencies of the operating system, so the other folder is not required as no compatibility layer is required.

On 32-bit systems, the programs are installed directly in a directory called Programs, and it's the only one we can find on the computer. 64-bit programs will not work on the computer because they are incompatible with this architecture, while 16-bit programs will run without dependency issues, but without additional directories.

Delete or clean up the System32 and SysWOW64 folders

It is true that Windows sometimes creates folders on our hard drive that can be deleted to free up a few gigs of space. Especially after every update. And if we use a room analyzer we can see that it is System32 and SysWOW64 two folders that take up a lot ;; The first can take up more than 6 GB and the second is close to 2 GB.

But, deleting it would only be disastrous for our computer. Especially the first. If we change or delete the SysWOW64 folder, we will end up with 32-bit programs and games not working on the PC. And we could also have a fatal bug as some Windows tools still require 32-bit libraries. However, the slightest change in System32 can destroy the system. We can make programs stop working, blue screens appear, and even the operating system cannot boot.

So now that we know what these folders are for, we should never change or delete them. These are Windows folders, so only he should make the appropriate changes.

What to do if System32 and SysWOW64 are damaged?

As critical folders for the operation of the operating system, they should never be touched. However, there are cases that do not depend on us and where changes can be made to these directories. And then the problems begin.

For example, a virus can make changes to this folder without our permission. Or that a program is compromising the integrity of some libraries when attempting to update or replace files. In this case, our PC has all sorts of problems.

In this case we need to repair the system. We can do this in a number of ways, either by updating the Windows version (in case we don't have the latest), using the PC reset tool, and even, if we're lucky, resorting to a restore point if everything worked properly .

If the problem is very specific and we get error messages indicating that a particular library is missing, we can try to resolve it ourselves. For example we can find and download the DLL that caused the problems from the Internet and copy it to System32 or SysWOW64 (as needed). If Windows won't start and we know what the problem is, we can copy the missing library from an Ubuntu Live to solve the problem.

However, if the error was so critical that Windows can't even boot and we can't fix it, then we have bad news. The only thing left to do is Reinstall Windows from scratch so that everything works normally again.