What is SysWoW64 Folder in Windows?

WoW64 stands for Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit. SysWoW64 process running in your Windows is part of your Windows operating system. There are many Malware and Virus remover sites which claim it to be a Malware or Trojan Horse and tries to sell their Paid Anti-Virus, Trojan Remover tools.

In Windows folder, System32 directory is reserved for 64-bit applications. When 64-bit versions of the DLLs were created, most DLL file names were not changed. 32-bit version DLLs are now stored in a different directory. File system redirector is used by WOW64 to hide this difference.
SysWOW64
When a 32-bit application makes an attempt to access %windir%System32, the access is redirected to %windir%SysWOW64. And %windir%lastgoodsystem32 is redirected to %windir%lastgoodSysWOW64. Access to %windir%regedit.exe is redirected to %windir%SysWOW64regedit.exe.

SysWOW64 folder contains several applications to support 32-bit applications e.g. cmd.exe, to register 32bit windows services, odbcad32.exe, to register ODBC connections for 32-bit applications.

16-bit applications made for MS-DOS and early versions of Windows are normally not compatible with 64-bit Windows Vista, 7 and 8. 32-bit version of Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8 can run run 16-bit applications easily.

Both 32-bit and a 64-bit version of Internet Explorer is found in Windows because of large number of 32-bit ActiveX components available on the Internet which can not run on 64-bit version. 32-bit IE is used by default and 64-bit IE can not be used as default web browser.

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  • System32 is used to store 64bit programs. SysWoW64 is used to store 32bit programs.

  • gmeades

    So, can one assume if they have both Win7 (32) and Win7 (64) computers on their home network, or install an app that contains both 32-bit and 64-bit applications that this might somehow get installed on one of the 32-bit machines….?

    I’ve recently set up two win7 64-bit machines on my otherwise 32-bit network, and other than connecting the 64-bit machines to the network, haven’t barely touched this 32-bit machine for the past 2 weeks, and suddenly today, Malwarebytes is saying it’s somehow detected SysWoW64.exe on it.

    Very odd, and I have a very hard time believing its any kind of actual infection, since this machine has only interacted with the new 64-bit machines and hasn’t gone outside of my home network for the past two weeks or so.