What is System32? What happens when you delete it?

You might have come across memes about deleting System32 will make your PC faster or some people might even tell you that it is a virus and you need to delete it. They are simply trolling you. In this article, I’ll tell you all you need to know about System32.

What is System32?

System32 image

The System32 folder contains essential system files used by the Windows operating system, system drivers that make connected hardware work properly, windows kernel files, built-in application files (like notepad, task manager, etc) and other important files of the third-party applications installed on your computer.

Most of them are .DLL files (Dynamic Link Library) and .EXE (Executable) files.

DLL files contain important code and data used by many programs on your computer. These files are used for almost everything you do on your PC from installing applications, playing media files to rendering DirectX in video games. These files are required to run your PC. If you’re missing DLL files used by a program, that program will run incorrectly, and sometimes they may not even start.

Through an EXE file you can launch an application. The .EXE files present in the System32 folder will allow you to run important applications like Windows Utilities, Task Manager, etc.

System32 will be present on your computer even if you use a 64-bit operating system. This is for backward compatibility.

System32 is NOT a Virus. Windows does NOT store any deleted files, internet history, etc in the System32 folder. Also, Deleting System32 Does NOT make your PC faster. If someone tells you that it is a virus or that deleting it makes your PC faster, know that they are simply trolling you.

What happens if you delete System32?

As I’ve told you earlier, The System32 folder contains files that are absolutely required to run your PC.

Most of the time, you will not be able to delete the System32 folder. You’ll need Admin privileges and need to take ownership of folders. So, the option of deleting System32 by mistake is ruled out.

You can revoke admin privileges for full control and take ownership of the System32 folder if you’re still stubborn about deleting the System32 folder. This way you can delete it. Although I strongly oppose doing it.

If you did delete the System32 folder, you’ll see that your PC becomes unstable. You will not be able to open any windows. You’ll not be able to open even the Start menu. The task manager will not open since you’ve deleted it.

You’ll start seeing errors when you try opening any application. This is because they are already removed. You cannot even shut down your computer. You have to do it manually by pulling the plug.

When you try rebooting the system, you’ll see nothing happening. It is all just a black screen.

You also delete the files required for repairing and rebooting when you delete the System32 folder. So, the automatic repair also cannot help you here.

The final option left is to reinstall Windows once again. 

So, this is what deleting System32 does. It does not speed up your PC. It does not remove any Virus.


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