Here’s How to Tell If I Have 32-Bit or 64-Bit Windows

By | December 13, 2021

Are you using a processor that supports a 64-bit operating system? If so, are you using a 64-bit operating system? More importantly, how do you know if Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit?

64-bit versions of Windows and 64-bit processors are becoming the norm. You may even notice the option to download 64 or 32-bit versions of new games or apps, or when you buy a new PC or laptop. Isn’t the software the same?

Here’s how you can check if your computer is 64-bit or 32-bit and why it matters.

What’s the Difference Between x86 and x64

There are several good reasons why 64-bit Windows is better than 32-bit. The two biggest reasons are related to computing power.

First, 64-bit processors can perform calculations faster and handle more data at once. Second, 64-bit processors can store more memory locations, allowing you to use more RAM. In turn, your overall system performance improves.

Check Your System Information

The first port of call is your computer’s System Information. The System Information tool tells you a lot of useful information about your PC, including the amount of RAM installed, the version of Windows you’re using, and whether your system is 32 or 64-bit.

Press Windows Key + X, then select System. A new window will open. Under Device Specifications, check System Type. If you have a 64-bit processor, it will tell you. For example, I’m using 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, on an x64-based processor:

Why it’s useful: It’s the fastest and easiest way to find out if you’re running a 64-bit operating system, what model processor is powering your machine, and how much RAM is currently installed.

Use Commands in Command Prompt

Command Prompt will reveal all the secrets and information about your system. In this case, you can use a single command to reveal whether your system is 32 or 64-bit.

Type the command in your Start Menu search bar, select the Most suitable result, then right-click and select Run as administrator. Once Command Prompt opens, enter the following command:

pro set

The command instantly returns a list of information regarding your processor. There are several bits of information that quickly reveal if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system. In particular, PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE, PROCESSOR_IDENTIFIER, and the existence of the ProgramFiles (x86) folder.

The processor architecture and processor identifier both display the number “64” which indicates a 64-bit processor. Furthermore, the ProgramFiles (x86) folder shows us that there are two Program Files folders, also indicating a 64-bit operating system.

A 32-bit operating system has only one Program Files folder because the operating system can only use 32-bit programs, whereas a 64-bit system can use programs from both architectures.

Why it’s useful: Using the Command Prompt gives you an immediate overview of your processor, not just the operating system. As you can see in the screenshot, the “set pro” command instantly reveals your processor architecture type, identifier, level, revision and other important information.

Program Files

Spurring directly from the last method, simply navigating to the root directory of your main drive should be enough to do the trick.

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32-bit versions of Windows will only include one Program Files folder, whereas the two folders you see above will be on 64-bit systems. The Program Files (x86) folder is where applications meant to run on 32-bit systems are installed. The main Program Files folder is where all 64-bit applications are located.

Why it’s useful: A lot of software now comes in 32 and 64-bit versions. While just a quick glance at the folders will reveal whether or not you are using a 64-bit operating system, actually browsing through the Program Files folder for 32-bit applications is a good way to see which applications you have installed that might be of potential value. upgrade to 64-bit version.

Check Windows Task Manager Details

Windows Task Manager stores a lot of information about your computer. You can also use it to find out if a program is 32 or 64-bit. If you see that your system uses both 32 and 64-bit software, you know that your processor and operating system are 64-bit.

Press Windows Key + X, then select Task Manager. Now, switch to the Details tab. Right-click the column name and go to Select Column, scroll down and tick Platform, then press OK. The Task Manager’s Details tab now shows whether your software is 32 or 64-bit.

Why it’s useful: Task Manager’s Details tab gives you lots of useful information at a glance. Adding the Platform tab lets you know the software architecture as well.

64bit Checker

If somehow the previous four options don’t reveal whether your system is 32 or 64-bit, you have a software option.

Igorware’s 64bit Checker is a free Windows tool that quickly and effectively checks the architecture of your system. 64bit Checker provides you with information about your operating system, your CPU regarding 64-bit compatibility, and the version of Windows you are running.

In the Reports tab, you have a plaintext version of the information. You can copy and paste this into another program or save it as an HTML or text file.

Why it’s useful: 64bit Checker tells you everything you need to know. You don’t have to do anything technical or look for information, for example, whether your processor can handle a 64-bit operating system. You run an application, read a table or text report, and you learn the specifics.

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