The consequences can be serious.
Like any operating system, Windows has certain files and folders that are responsible for its smooth functioning. Therefore, deleting or even modifying even one of them may just end badly – data loss or damage, system instability or the famous “Blue Screen of Death”. In this case, the only solution can be reinstalling Windows.
In today’s article, we decided to introduce you to files and folders that you should not delete from Windows. Believe us – these are elements that you should not move while cleaning the disc.
Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders
Program Files is a folder in which all applications are installed by default (unless you choose a different installation location). That is why it contains many files, without which these programs would not be able to work. Removing it would therefore have a negative impact on the application (if it could still be run) and data loss.
The 64-bit operating systems that are currently found on most computers also have a Program Files (x86) folder. There, by default, all 32-bit programs are installed there. Deleting the Program Files (x86) folder has the same risk as deleting the Program files folder. The 32-bit version of Windows does not have it because 64-bit applications cannot be installed.
Remember to never get rid of programs from your computer by deleting their individual folders from Program files or Program files (x86). In this way, we do not remove the program from the disk completely, but only partially, which may cause system instability. Application uninstallation should be done through the Control Panel or with the help of programs such as IObit Uninstaller.
The System32 folder contains many types of files, but the most common are DLL and EXE files. DLL (Dynamic Link Library) files are shared library files that are used by Windows programs – and those built into the operating system as well as those installed by other companies. In turn, EXE files represent various Windows tools, such as Task Manager. System registry files and SYS files associated with hardware drivers are also stored in the same folder.
Don’t be fooled by the folder name, because it doesn’t indicate that it is useless in the 64-bit version of the system. On the contrary, so removing it will lead to the need to reinstall Windows.
The WinSxS folder (short for Windows Side-By-Side) is responsible for troubleshooting compatibility issues with older versions of Windows. If any program installed on your computer must use an older version of a given shared library (DLL) file, this older version will be found in this folder. By deleting the WinSxS folder you will therefore cause application compatibility problems.
The Windows folder is another folder whose content you should not touch. It contains many files and subfolders responsible for the smooth operation of the system. Some of these subfolders are the already mentioned System32 and WinSxS. Therefore, removing it or even innocent modification may mean the need to reinstall the system.
System Volume Information folder
System Volume Information is a protected folder that can be found on every drive on your computer. If the disk is partitioned, each partition has it. It contains important system data about the partition it is in as well as system restore points. If you delete the folder, the system will lose the ability to create restore points – then, as in previous cases, only reinstalling Windows will help.
If you can’t see this folder on your computer, don’t worry. By default it is hidden, and for good reason. After all, if you can’t see it, you won’t be tempted to bury it, right?
Pagefile.sys is a file that is part of the so-called Virtual Memory. It is used by the memory manager to free up physical memory (RAM) – usually when physical memory is low. In addition, it is used when the “Blue Screen” occurs – then it is used to write memory. The system will be able to function without this file, but deleting it can cause various types of problems. Without its presence, when all the RAM is used by opening many programs, some programs may turn off or display errors. Also, some games or programs may not start at all.
Swapfile.sys is another file that is part of Virtual Memory. However, this one is directly related to applications from the Microsoft Store, while Pagefile.sys is responsible for other programs. Nevertheless, it is equally important for the efficient use of RAM and the operation of the computer, so we advise against removing it.