Windows 10: Shortcuts confusion - x64/x32 Solved


  1. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 64-bit home
       19 Jul 2016 #1

    Shortcuts confusion - x64/x32


    I'd like to create a few shortcuts for a dock I'll be trying out on Windows 10 64-bit for:

    Notepad
    Task Manager

    On my old 32-bit Windows 7 PC, it was simple - just create a shortcut to the exe in the system32 folder. But with 64-bit, I have a system32 and a syswow64 folder. Both folders have a notepad.exe and a taskmgr.exe, along with cmd.exe. So which folder should I link the shortcuts to? Logic would tell me the syswow64 folder, but if I type in notepad or task manager in the search box and run it from the result, it runs the version in the 32-bit folder, so I'm confused - I thought it would have run the syswow64 versions. Is there a reason why it runs the 32-bit versions? I want to make sure I link to the correct versions.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.   My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 64-bit home
    Thread Starter
       19 Jul 2016 #3

    Okay thanks, but that doesn't answer my specific question.

    Which should I use?

    Notepad 64 or notepad 32? Task manager 64 or task manager 32? Why does the system use the 32-bit versions by default?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 64-bit home
    Thread Starter
       19 Jul 2016 #4

    Wait, hold on - I just read this in the link posted above:

    the SysWOW64 folder is intended for 32-bit files only
    the System32 folder is intended for 64-bit files only

    This is the exact opposite that I was thinking. No wonder I was confused. So when I see that notepad and task manager are running from the system32 folder, they are indeed the 32bit versions that are running? I was thinking anything in the system32 folder was for 32-bit versions, and Syswow64 was for 64-bit versions, but I guess I had it backwards. Thanks for linking to that article.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    19 Jul 2016 #5

    They kept all the files that you want to run in the System32 folder regardless of whether your OS installed is 32-bit or 64-bit for compatibility with all the 3rd party programs that are going to only look in System32 for them. It is also System32 that is included in your path environment variable. That means when you press Win + R to open the run dialog, type notepad to open the notepad application, it is going to go to System32 to run it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 64-bit home
    Thread Starter
       19 Jul 2016 #6

    Ah, that makes perfect sense when it's explained like that. Thanks again!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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