The System32 Folder and Why You Shouldn’t Delete It
You might have heard many jokes such as “Delete System32 folder on your Windows system to speed it up” or “Delete System32 folder to remove virus”. Well, you should never come across such a nuisance and try to remove System32. System32 is an essential folder of your Windows system. This article will help you understand what happens when it is removed and how to avoid any unwanted side effects.
What is the System32 folder?
The System32 folder is a main folder of the Windows operating system. It contains important operating system files and folders that are necessary for the proper functioning of your system. If this folder gets deleted or corrupted, it can cause serious problems with your computer. Some of the key contents of the System32 folder include:
- Registry files: These files contain important system configuration data.
- DLL files: These are dynamic link libraries that contain functions used by other programs on your computer. If you delete or corrupt any of these files, it will also affect the performance of these applications.
- INI files: This file contains important settings related to the Windows operating system and software installed on your PC, such as display, mouse, etc. If this file is corrupted, some software may not work properly on your computer. So always keep a backup copy for your safety. the reasons.
- EXE files: These executable files contain the main program that performs certain tasks related to your system.
The main contents which I have talked about above are the various Windows system utilities and play an important role in the proper functioning of the Windows operating system along with all its features and applications installed on the same computer. This is why I always advise my clients not to delete or modify important files and folders present in the System32 folder. There is no point in doing so as it can only cause problems with your Windows system, and you may need to reinstall it after facing severe data loss issues due to corruption of these core files.
What happens when you try to delete your System32 folder?
If you delete your System32 folder, some Windows operating system programs and features may stop working. The most common symptoms include:
- Operating system error messages: You may receive error messages when you try to launch a program on your computer, such as “A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing” or “Click OK to close this application”.
- Operating system is unresponsive: You may notice that your Windows system is unresponsive and the only option you have is to restart it manually.
- Operating system crash: Some users have reported that their PC boots normally, but Windows does not load properly resulting in constant operating system crashes.
- Safe Mode Boot Issues: If you are able to boot your Windows PC in Safe Mode, then there are many faulty files that may be present in your System32 folder and cause serious issues with the system boot process.
What can you do when your System32 folder is corrupted or deleted?
As already stated, deleting or corrupting your System32 folder can cause many problems with your PC, ranging from minor annoyances such as operating system error messages to major issues such as the inability to start Windows. at all, you can do a lot about it. . Here are some useful tips to solve this problem:
Reinstall the operating system: If you have a good backup of your Windows operating system, reinstalling it will help you restore all the important files present in the System32 folder. However, make sure you don’t delete or corrupt any of these files while reinstalling your Windows system, as this can also lead to more serious issues with your machine.
Reinstall your software: If since your last software installation there have been changes to essential system files such as DLLs, INI files, and registry entries, you should uninstall them and then reinstall them with their default settings to fix this problem. Please note that if a program is responsible for creating new entries in Registry Editor, uninstalling it can cause serious problems. So always create a system restore point before opting for this option.
Use the System File Checker utility: It is an inbuilt utility present in Windows that allows you to repair and restore corrupted or missing system files. You can use this easy to use software by following the steps mentioned here.
- In the Windows search bar, search for and launch the command prompt with administrator rights.
- Type this command and press Enter: sfc/scannow.SFC-scan-start
- The scan would start and take some time depending on your system configuration.
- After the scan, if he found a problem, the solution would be automatically applied.
- Close the command prompt window and restart your system.
Restore previous versions of files: If you have previous versions of a file that was deleted from your System32 folder, you can easily restore it using the “Previous Versions” feature available in almost all modern versions of the Windows operating system such as Windows 10 and 11.
Manually replace corrupt DLLs: Reinstalling the entire operating system may not be possible for everyone, as it is not possible to back everything up first. In this case, you can manually replace your corrupt DLL files with the original ones using System File Checker.
How to delete the System32 folder?
First of all, you shouldn’t consider deleting it. And second, you probably won’t be able to.
When you try to delete the System32 folder, you get the Folder Access Denied error. Nevertheless, if you are desperate to destroy your system, you can try deleting the files in it one by one. Soon the system will stop responding.
It is essential to know that even to access the System32 folder on your system, you need administrator rights and ownership of the folder. Even after getting admin rights and ownership, some files will still not be deleted in the System32 folder because they might be currently in use.
What is a System32 virus?
Although the System32 folder is completely safe and makes it the most important folder in the operating system, cyber criminals use its name to create Trojans and other dangerous malware.
There are many viruses designed to look like the System32 folder. These viruses are called “system file replicators” or “file replicators”.
These replica files mimic other essential system files and can cause serious computer performance issues, including boot problems if present on your system. One of the most important things about these virus related files is that they cannot be deleted normally. You might need specialized antimalware programs to remove them.
Apart from this, if your computer got infected with Trojan or any other type of virus then they can target essential system files including DLL files present in System32 folder to render them unusable.
It could corrupt your entire operating system, preventing you from accessing most of its parts. If this happens, all important files needed to start Windows will be replaced with corrupted files and then your PC will not respond to any commands.
The System32 is a very important folder in all Windows operating systems. It contains many critical system files required by the operating system to function properly. Thus, it must be protected from any type of virus or malicious threat. Also, under no circumstances should you remove it manually, as it may lead to more serious issues with your PC’s performance.
All you need is to have a robust security program (which is built into Windows 10 and Windows 11 with Windows Security) on your PC that can keep your machine away from any of these threats.
Questions and answers
Is it necessary to keep the System32 folder on my PC? Yes, the System 32 folder is required for almost all basic functions of Windows operating systems, including opening files, running applications, starting Windows, etc.
What is DLL? DLL stands for dynamic link library. It is a library of smaller executable files that can be used by multiple programs at the same time from their separate processes. The functions required by many different programs to work properly are included in a common DLL file and its different versions, which reduces the size of the application/program and facilitates their convenient management.
What are the security threats associated with the System32 folder? Some types of viruses can enter the System32 folder and infect all system files associated with it. To do this, all they need are administrative privileges that allow them to overwrite those important files.
What happens if I delete the System32 folder in Windows 10? Your computer will not start at all and you will need to repair or reinstall the Windows operating system.
George Cox is the owner of Computer Diagnostics and Repair. He can be reached at 346-4217.