What happens if you delete the System32 folder on Windows?

What happens if you delete System32 folder on Windows

Spend some time on the Internet, and you may encounter a clown asking you to delete the System32 folder on your computer. But what is this mysterious Windows folder, and why does someone tell you to delete it?

And what will happen if you have already deleted System32? These are the facts.

 #  What is System32?

System32 is a folder included in every version of Windows since Windows 2000. It is located in C: \ Windows \ System32 and includes all types of files and vital folders to keep Windows working properly.

There are a lot of files in System32 to discuss individually, you can split most of the contents of System32 into two groups:

  • DLL (Dynamic-link library) files allow programs to access parts of Windows and perform standard tasks. For example, one of the DLLs might allow the computer to play sound, while another file could enable automatic Windows updates. Many DLLs start as soon as the computer is started. Windows cannot start without it, which is why DLL errors are fixed.
  • EXE (Executable) files are applications and utilities. You can run an executable file each time you open programs like Word or Chrome. But EXE files in System32 are more important: Apart from Windows utilities like Event Viewer (eventvwr.exe), these include executables for dynamic task management operations like winlogon.exe. Without this, you can’t even log into your computer.

Apart from that, System32 also contains a drivers folder (its contents allow you to interface your computer with different devices), language files, and more

#How to delete System32 folder on Windows

How to delete System32 folder on Windows

Despite jokes online, deleting System32 isn’t a single click. Since it is a protected system folder, Windows will block you from accessing it if you try to delete it. This is enough to deter inexperienced users from accidentally deleting the folder.

However, if you are stationary, you can follow the path of destruction. Ownership of the folder allows you to try to delete it, but Windows blocks this again because it uses many files effectively within System32.

To work around this, you can start deleting individual files within System32 or use a command prompt for more efficient deletion. If you do, Windows allows you to delete files that are not currently in use.

#What happens when I delete System32?

If you continue to delete random files in System32, the computer will start to slow down. Basic functions, such as running programs, searching through the Start menu, and opening Windows utilities, will no longer work as you delete files that depend on them. There is not one exciting moment where System32 “goes uproar” – it collapses over a short period instead.

Depending on what you delete, you may not even be able to shut down the computer normally. Once you shut down and restart your hard drive, you will likely find that Windows will not boot without these important DLLs. Your Windows installation is toast at this point.

If you go that far you will have to reinstall Windows for everything to work properly again. Jobs such as System Restore are likely to be destroyed by your actions, so you must reinstall from scratch.

Given all this, it’s clear that Windows is protecting this folder for some reason. If he’s not protected and nobody knows better, he might try to delete the folder to save space and end up with a bad surprise.

#What about System32 viruses?

If you suspect that you have a System32 virus, you should not delete or modify any affected files. You have a better chance of damaging your system by cleaning the infection in this way.

Instead, you should scan with a reliable antivirus program, then proceed with an anti-malware scanner such as Malwarebytes.

#Get to know System32 on Windows

You now know everything about System32, what it does, and what will happen if you delete it.

If you can’t remember anything else, just know that System32 contains the set of dynamic files that Windows needs to work properly. You cannot delete System32 without intentionally circumventing the built-in protection, and you will need to reinstall Windows if you move the folder.

Also Read: The remote device or resource won’t accept the connection in Windows


Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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About the Author: Andrew

Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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