Program Files

Program Files

Program Files is a folder in Microsoft Windows operating systems where applications that are not part of the operating system are installed by default. Each program is put into its own subfolder where all of the related binary files can be stored, this sub-folder name can be chosen by the user, though installers will often give a default directory name based on the name of the company that created it and the application itself. On an unchanged windows installation this directory will be at C:Program Files, though it can be moved. In order to keep track of where it is, there is an environment variable %ProgramFiles% that stores its location which is loaded from the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionProgramFilesDir when the computer boots. There is some criticism in the choice of name, in that to be backwards compatible with the 8.3 limit of the old File Allocation Table, the name of this folder must be truncated, normally to Progra~1. In addition to this, ports of programs that were written under operating systems that generally don't have a space in the path have difficulty in running when installed there. In Windows Vista the "Program Files" folder is protected, meaning that only Administrators can change its contents; while this is a more secure solution, it does mean that programs which were accustomed to creating logs or other files in the folder containing the application under previous versions of windows can no longer do so.

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