Google Chrome is soon going to be installed in a different directory on Windows
If you use a 64-bit installation of Google Chrome on a Windows device, you may know that the browser’s default installation folder is C:Program Files (x86)GoogleChrome. Similarly, if you install other Chromium-based browsers, you may notice that the 64-bit installations of these get installed in the same program files folder.
Chromium-based browsers install core browser files under program files on Windows and user data, e.g. the browsing data, bookmarks and extensions, under AppData instead.
The fact that Chrome installs the 64-bit version in the folder designated for 32-bit application installations is puzzling but the browser is definitely not the only 64-bit program on Windows that installs in the wrong folder. The installation folder does not impact functionality of the program in question.
Chrome users who upgrade the browser from a 32-bit version to a 64-bit version will also notice that the program folder remains the same.
Starting soon, Google Chrome will install in the C:Program Files folder by default on Windows if it is a 64-bit installer. Chrome 64-bit versions installed in the C:Program Files (x86) folder will continue to work and will be updated just like before.
It is interesting to note that the bug was opened more than six years ago. Google noted back then that the behavior was intentional and that it had plans to move 64-bit Chrome to the right program folder on Windows.
Google notes that Chrome needs to be removed from the Windows device entirely if the user wants the browser to be installed in the new default program folder.
Install 64-bit browser versions under “C:Program Files” by default
Browsers installed under “C:Program Files (x86)” remain in that directory and will continue to be updated. They must be uninstalled first to be reinstalled under “C:Program Files”.
The change is limited to new installs; it is likely that most Chrome users on Windows don’t care about the installation directory let alone uninstall the browser just to make it install in the right 64-bit folder on the system.
Administrators on the other hand may find the information useful as it may help them locate the Chrome folder if it is not in C:Program Files (x86) as expected.