What if you Delete System32 on Windows

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Unlikely an open-source operating system, Windows offered users fewer privileges to mess with the operating system’s backend. However, you’ll probably hear that deleting the System32 folder in your Windows machine main installation drive can ruin your PC but what exactly is System32 and what if you delete System32 on Windows?

Before jumping to big things, There are some essential things you need to be acknowledged. Remember trying to delete may cause your system badly damaged or completely unrecoverable, so don’t try this with your primary system. Instead, you can try this with a virtual machine or a test environment without causing any issues. Moreover that Windows doesn’t allow you to delete any data inside that folder that easily.

You need to change your computers permissions settings and allow yourself to execute any command or change Windows essential files and directories. Unless you have permission, you will see an error message when you try to delete the System32 folder.


What is System32? – Brief Introduction

In Windows, the System32 folder is the folder that stores some critical and essential files to boot and perform all the tasks we need to complete with the PC. This folder contains almost all vital data for Windows itself and the third-party programs that are running on your Windows system. Including shared libraries, DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries), Driver folders for each hardware part you plugged in and some core Windows programs like Task Manager, Notepad, etc.

Now you’ll understand that deleting this folder will stop your system’s whole functionality, and that’s why Windows doesn’t allow you to delete any data inside like you are doing with a regular folder. Because of this folder’s high value, some malware or trojan attacks try to attack and delete this when the attackers want to break down the whole system, but unless you are an expert, you won’t get a chance to perform such executions on a Windows system.

SysWOW64 folder is also quite similar to the System32 folder in Windows. The acronym WOW stands for Windows 32 on Windows 64 that contains some libraries from the Windows 32 bit system, which is meant for backwards compatibility.


How to Delete System32?

You can delete your System32 by using a couple of different methods. The first one is done by getting file permissions with TrustedInstaller and this method will be quite easy to understand because you are dealing with a GUI.

– First Method:

  1. Go to Windows Folder and Find System32
  2. From the Right-Click Menu, Properties>Security>Edit
  3. Now create New Owner and allow full control and make sure you are doing this for every user group.
  4. Close Properties and Delete System32.

– Second Method:

  1. Press (Windows Key + R) and type CMD
  2. In CMD Type takedown /f C:\Windows\System32 – (This will give you the ownership of System32 Folder)
  3. Type cacls C:\Windows\System32 – (This will gain you the file permission of System32 Folder)
  4. Close other applications running in the background and Now you can Delete System32 Folder

What if you delete System32?

After deleting it, the first thing you are going to notice is that none of the applications isn’t going to function as usual, like your start menu won’t work, you’ll not be able to click on anything, or else the whole system will freeze. When you are trying to boot your system again, the computer automatically detects something had gone wrong. It will try to repair your PC after diagnosing the errors of occurred on the system.

The chance of retrieving the data and the system back, as usual, won’t be possible because even the system detects some essential files are missing. There’s no option to get them back, or Windows doesn’t create such an advanced recovery system yet for their operating system.

After deleting System32, you will end up with a blue screen, and you must reinstall Windows to your computer. The situation may change if you delete one or two files, but it’s always better not to mess with any of these system files if you don’t know what those things are.

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