Last month, we’ve reported Google has decided to install 64-bit Chrome to Program Files folder on Windows. Today, we noticed the change already came into effect and applies to Chrome 85 beta and Chrome 86 dev installations as Chrome executable of these versions now running from Program Files path.
Some 64-bit app installers still ignore Windows and CPU architecture and extract installation files into Program Files (x86), Google Chrome and Chromium browsers are doing this for ages, including new Microsoft Edge. Mozilla Firefox is an exception here when you compare browsers.
It just doesn’t make sense for 64-bit apps to use a 32-bit apps installation directory.
Though Chrome no longer supports 32-bit systems, it does support them in the past and when you install and upgrade from 32-bit Chrome to 64-bit, the installation directory is Program Files (x86) and this doesn’t change even with a fresh Chrome 64-bit installation.
Chromium team clarified this as intentional in 2014 ” Yes, we made a conscious decision to first Dev/Canary 64-bit releases to keep the installation directory in DIR_PROGRAM_FILES_X86 for both 64-bit and 32-bit for both upgrade and fresh installs. This will be changed in a future release”.
A few days back, Google made changes to Chrome installer to guide the installation of the 64-bit version to process into C:\Program Files by default, this now holds true for current Chrome 85 beta and Chrome 86 dev versions. What this means is Chrome 85 stable has reserved Program Files as the destination for its installation.
Microsoft too inclined to follow Chrome on this. We’ve reported their response on this here.