System 32 is an extremely important folder that holds all sorts of files and folders that are vital to keep Windows working. In specific terms, it contains DLL (Dynamic Link Library) and executable files that your computer needs to operate. Aside from these, System 32 also contains drivers folder – the files that tells Windows how to work with various hardware.
Many who are not computer literate and don’t know about System32 folder may see it as a virus. Although it is possible to have a virus infected file sitting inside the System32 folder, the System32 folder itself is certainly not a malicious folder. It is a core folder required for Windows to work.
What happens if you delete System 32?
The answer is pretty simple – If you delete one or more core files or the entire System 32 folder, your Windows OS will crash (causing BSOD, system failure and instability, etc.), and in most cases, you will not be able to boot into your Windows again.
That is why most files in the System 32 folder and the folder itself are protected by TrustedInstaller to prevent users from accidentally modifying or deleting them.
How to delete a file in the System32 folder?
If you suspect a file sitting in the System32 folder to be possibly a virus or malware, you should first try to scan the entire System32 folder with your antivirus program. If you are certain that a file in the System32 folder is malicious and that you are sure it is not one of the Windows core system files, you can manually delete the file by following the steps below.Since most files in the System 32 folder are protected by TrustedInstaller, when you forcefully delete such files, you will receive an error that says “You need permission to perform this action – You require permission from TrustedInstaller to make changes to this file“.Thus, we will need to take ownership of the file from TrustedInstaller, and then edit the permission of the file so that you are allowed to delete it. The steps below will show you how to do so in Windows 11 (also applicable to Windows 10). Warning: Deleting a core system file can cause serious issues in Windows such as system instability, crashes and system failure. Please proceed at your own risk.1. In the System32 folder, right-click the file you want to delete, then select Properties.
How to delete System 32 folder of an old Windows?
If you want to delete the System32 folder or the entire Windows folder of an old Windows you no longer need, you can do so using the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 11. A Windows.old folder and all folders in it (including the System32 folder) are safe to delete since they are no longer in use. The screenshot below shows how a Windows.old folder looks like if you have a previous Windows installation.Also read: