What Is System 32 Directory and Why You Shouldn’t Delete It? [MiniTool Wiki]

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When you surf the Internet, you may find that a jokester asks you to delete the System32 folder on your computer. So you may wonder that what System 32 is and why it tells you to delete it. Read this post written by MiniTool, then you can find the answers.

Introduction to System 32

To begin with, what is System 32? It is a pretty important part of every Windows version since Windows 2000 and it is located at C:\Windows\System32 that stored all critical and vital files and folders to keep Windows running properly. Therefore, it should never be deleted.

System32 folder

There are a number of different kinds of files in System32 folder, but in general, there are only two types of files which are the most common types: DLL (Dynamic Link Library) files and EXE (Executable) files.

files in System32 folder

DLL files allow Windows programs – both built-in programs and third-party utilities you install to perform various tasks. For example, one DLL file allows automatic Windows Update while another allows the computer to play audio.

Many DLL files start the moment when you start your PC, and Windows cannot boot without them.

EXE files represent different software applications and utilities. For example, when you open Command Prompt, Windows runs the cmd.exe file from the System32 folder. And there are many common programs run from this folder, too, such as PowerShell, Task Manager, Calculator and so on.

These are common programs that are viewed as part of the system. Therefore, without these files, you couldn’t even sign into your computer.

To sum up, the System32 folder contains a large number of vital files and it is important both on 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows.

Tip: If you don’t know whether your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit, then you can read this post to find the answer - Is My Computer 64 Bit or 32 Bit? Try the 5 Ways to Judge out.

How to Delete Windows System 32?

How to delete System 32? System32 folder is a protected system folder, so Windows won’t let you access it if you try to delete it. This can prevent you from deleting the folder by accident. But if you still want to delete it, then you need to take ownership of this folder at first.

But after you take ownership of this folder, when you try to delete it, Windows will prevent you again because it is actively using multiple files in the System32 folder.

Therefore, you can delete the files in the System32 folder one by one or you can use the Command Prompt for more efficient deletion. Windows allows you to delete files that aren’t currently in use.

What Happens If Your Delete System 32?

So what happens if you delete System 32? Your computer will start collapsing slowly. Many fundamental features such as using Start Menu to open programs and opening Windows programs won’t work.

What’s worse, you cannot even turn off your PC normally after you delete files in the System32 folder, and then you cannot turn on your PC after you shut down it. And the only solution to make your computer run normally again is to reinstall your operating system.

what happens if you delete system32 thumbnail
What Happens if You Delete the System32 Folder on Windows?

What is System32? What happens if you delete System32? If your computer becomes unbootable, what should you do? You can find the answers in this article.

Read More

System 32 Virus

Although the System32 folder is a very necessary part of your operating system and you should never delete it, it’s possible for viruses or malware to infect your computer and hide anywhere – even in the System32 folder.

A rootkit may disguise itself as a legal process and then hide in the System32 folder, but you can notice it because it uses high CPU unusually.

Tip: If you find that your CPU is used 100%, then you can read this post to find solutions - 8 Useful Solutions to Fix Your CPU 100% in Windows 10.

Therefore, if you concerned that your computer has a System 32 virus or malware, then you are supposed to perform a system scan with your antivirus software while not try to delete or modify any infected files.

Bottom Line

From this post, you can know what System 32 is. It is an indispensable part of the Windows system and if you try deleting System 32, then you will face system crash and you can only try to reinstall your system. Therefore, you should never delete it.

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