Solved: What Happens If You Delete System32 and How to Delete It?

Read this article and get all the information about the System32 folder including what is System32 folder and what happens if you delete it. Most importantly, you will know how to delete System32 on Windows 11/10/8/7 while keeping your system safe.


By Phoebe / Updated on March 15, 2024

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What is the system32 folder?

The System32 folder, located in the C:\Windows\System32\ or C:\Winnt\system32 directory, is the core folder of the Windows operating system. It is mostly found on 32-bit versions of Windows, hence the name. It contains the basic operating system files and folders that Windows needs to function properly.

This directory contains many different types of files, but DLL (dynamic-link library) and EXE (executable) files are some of the most common types you'll find when you start digging into the folder. DLL files are shared library files used by Windows programs (utilities built into Windows and third-party programs you install) to perform various functions.

Other common programs also run from this folder, such as Control Panel, Computer Management, Disk Management, Calculator, PowerShell, Task Manager, and Disk Defragmenter. These are applications that come with Windows and we consider them part of the operating system because they are stored in the System32 folder.

If you delete System32, it may cause serious problems for your computer.

What happens if you delete system32?

Some pranksters online may tell you to delete system32 files so you can free up space, speed up your PC, or repair a corrupted hard drive. This is not true. As mentioned above, the System32 folder contains important libraries, drivers, and system components that are critical to the stability and performance of your computer.

So what happens if you delete System32 folder? Deleting these files may cause system instability, crashes, and overall performance degradation. Without these files, your computer will not start properly. In this case, you should never delete files from the System32 folder.

Knowing all these potential risks, you still have specific reasons and determination to delete system32 files. Then you'd better clone your system to another drive beforehand to protect your computer from these system failures. Once the system crashes, you can boot your computer from the cloned drive to run Windows smoothly as usual.

Although there are no native disk cloning tools in Windows, reliable third-party software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional has emerged to bridge the gap, catering to a range of Windows versions, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7.

Here are the reasons why AOMEI stands out as the top choice for disk cloning:

Disk Clone: Seamlessly clone your entire system or data drive to another drive without reinstallation.
System Clone: Efficiently migrate only the operating system to a new drive while preserving existing data.
Flexible Cloning Method: Choose to copy only used sectors or choose complete sector cloning according to your specific requirements.
Secure Boot: Ensures a smooth boot of Windows from a cloned drive without encountering boot issues.
4k Alignment: Enhance SSD performance by aligning partitions during the cloning process to maximize read and write speeds.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7
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Notice: Before starting the cloning process, you must be aware that the target disk will be overwritten or deleted. Therefore, it is highly recommended to back up all important files in advance to prevent data loss.

Please follow the steps below to clone a disk using AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional Edition:

Step 1. Connect the target hard drive to the computer and install AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional Edition.

Step 2. Launch the software, navigate to the Clone option, and select Clone Disk.


Tip: The "Migrate OS" feature specifically supports only cloning the operating system to SSD or HDD.

Step 3. Select your preferred cloning method: Clone Disk Quickly or Sector-by-Sector Clone.


Step 4. Select the source disk and proceed to the next step.


Step 5. Select the target disk and select Optimize performance of SSD if necessary.


Step 6. Resize the partitions on the destination drive as needed and continue with the next step.


Step 7. Review the instructions for booting from the cloned disk, and then click Finish.

Step 8. Apply the changes and click Proceed to continue the cloning operation.


Step 9.When you want to use this cloned drive, install it, change the boot drive settings to designate it as the boot drive, and then restart the PC.


By following the steps below, you can effectively clone your disk using AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, ensuring a seamless transition and maintaining data integrity throughout the process.

Tip: Windows Server users can use its Server edition.

How to delete system32 on Windows 11/10/8/7

Due to the importance of its contents, it is highly recommended not to delete the System32 folder Windows 10/11. However, if you insist on continuing, you can perform the following steps to how to delete System32 Command Prompt.

Tip: Keep in mind that this action is irreversible and may render your system inoperable. Make sure you back up your system beforehand.

Step 1. Click the Start button, type cmd, right-click on the Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.


Step 2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:

del /s /q C:\Windows\System32\*


(This command will delete all files and folders in the System32 directory.)

Step 3. Next, enter the following command and press Enter:

rd /s /q C:\Windows\System32

(This will delete the System32 folder itself.)

FAQs on deleting system32

Q1. Can I delete files in System32 to free up space on my computer?

No, it is not recommended to delete files from the System32 folder unless absolutely necessary. Doing so may cause serious system problems and render your computer inoperable.

Q2. Can deleting System32 be fixed?

No, deleting System32 is irreversible and may cause system boot failure or crash. It is crucial to back up important data before attempting such operations.

Q3. Are all files in System32 visible to users?

No, some files in the System32 folder are protected by the operating system and are not visible to users by default. However, you can adjust folder settings to show hidden and system files.

Q4. Can I delete System32?

While technically possible, it is strongly recommended not to remove System32 as it will prevent the computer from booting properly due to missing critical system files.

Q5. How to access the System32 folder?

You can access the System32 folder by:

1. Pressing the Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.

2. Navigating to the C: drive (or the drive where your operating system is installed).

3. Opening the Windows folder.

4. Locating and opening the System32 folder.

Final words

In summary, to delete System32 folder should only be considered in extreme cases, and even then, it's crucial to err on the side of caution and have a backup plan in place. Additionally, using tools like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can help with system cloning, providing a safer alternative to manually tampering with critical system files.

This program also allows users to resize recovery partition easily, recover lost partitions on Windows 10/11, move installed programs to another drive, and so on. Don't hesitate to try it now!

Phoebe · Staff Editor
Phoebe, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is dedicated to offering optimal solutions for Windows-related concerns, specializing in partition management, disk upgrades, data recovery, and more. During her free time, she enjoys indulging in reading, watching movies, and exploring her passion for cooking.