When you set the ProgramFilesDir registry value to use a location other than the default location, Microsoft hotfixes, updates, and security updates do not update files that are in the default location. Therefore, you may experience system instability and unexpected problems with Microsoft programs and software updates. For example, you may experience any of the following problems:
- Microsoft hotfixes, updates, and security updates may not be installed correctly.
- New versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Windows Media Player may not be installed correctly.
Note The Internet Explorer installation folder is located in the Program Files folder.
If you change the location of the Program Files folder, you may experience unexpected issues that may affect the stability of Windows. The list of binary files that are protected by Windows File Protection, together with the locations of these files, is coded in Internet Explorer. You cannot modify these locations in Internet Explorer.
The following programs use the standard Windows APIs to determine the location of the Internet Explorer installation folder:
- The Windows Internet Explorer 7 installation program.
- The Windows Update program.
- Programs that update Windows Internet Explorer 7.
Note When we developed Internet Explorer 7, we decided to use the standard method to determine the location of the Windows Internet Explorer 7 installation folder. This decision was made to help increase the stability of Windows Internet Explorer 7. The decision was also made to help reduce the risk of problems that you may experience with regard to compatibility with other programs and with regard to Windows Internet Explorer 7 serviceability.
Steps to change the ProgramFilesDir registry value to use the default location for the Program Files folderImportant This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
To change the location of the Program Files folder back to the default location, follow these steps:
- Click Start, click Run, type
, and then click OK.
- Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
- In the details pane, right-click the ProgramFilesDir registry value, and then click Modify.
- In the Value data box, type the default location for the Program Files folder, and then click OK.
NoteThe default location of the Program Files folder is systemdrive\Program Files. For example, if Windows is installed on drive C, type C:\Program Files in the Value data box.
- Exit Registry Editor.