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Delete Program Files (x86) from Windows 7

Though you did a clean install from Windows 7 (64 bit) to Windows 7 (32 bit), you still had a "Program Files (x86)" folder and a "Windows.old" folder. You are able to delete the "Windows.old" folder but the "Program Files (x86)" folder will not be deleted without trusted installer permission.

To delete this folder first you have to take ownership of this folder and then you need to give your account full control permission on this file. Then like other folder you can delete the "Program Files (x86)" folder by delete or shift+delete (permanently delete). So follow the steps to get trustedinstaller permission.

  • Click on "Start" menu and type cmd into "Search programs and files" (For Windows 7). You will see cmd icon on search result. Right click on it and Run as Administrator.
  • Into the command prompt type takeown /f "Path and filename" /r /d n and enter. And you will get ownership of the folder.
  • Now type icacls "Path and filename" /grant administrators:F /t and enter.

For example:
takeown /f "C:\Program Files (x86)" /r /d n
icacls "C:\Program Files (x86)" /grant administrators:F /t
full control permission

After Successfully processed the files and like other folders, you can delete the "Program Files (x86)" folder.