Google Chrome is extremely popular with our readers, but did you know that they also have a 64-bit version of the browser these days? Here’s how to tell which version you are running, and how to switch if you aren’t.
If you aren’t sure what the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit Windows is, you should probably read our article on that subject first, but if you have a fairly new computer there’s a good chance you are running 64-bit Windows.
Should You Use 64-bit Chrome?
Assuming you don’t require a lot of older plugins in your browser, you should probably at least think about using the 64-bit version of Google Chrome — the only real issues so far are that the 64-bit version doesn’t support the older 32-bit plugins that the 32-bit version has always supported.
The benefits, however, are speed, security, and stability. The 64-bit version shows a 15 percent increase in video rendering, 25 percent improvement in loading times, and it supports DirectWrite on Windows. The addition of ASLR (address space layout randomization) improves security against many types of zero-day attacks, and the 64-bit version crashes about half as often as the 32-bit version did.
Plus you can try out the 64-bit version and if you run into a problem, you can uninstall Chrome and just reinstall the regular 32-bit version.
Checking the Chrome Version
In order to check whether you are using a 32 or 64-bit version or Google Chrome, you will need to open your browser, which we’ll assume is already open because you are reading this article, and then go to the menu and choose “About Google Chrome.” You could also go to the About section of the settings.
The normal version of Chrome will look something like this, and you’ll note that you don’t see the text “64-bit” anywhere, which means you are on 32-bit.
The 64-bit version of Chrome will look like this (note the “64-bit”).
Downloading and Installing Chrome 64-bit
If you are interested in upgrading to the 64-bit version of Chrome, you will need to go to the Google Chrome download page and then click the 64-bit option at the bottom of the screen.
Once there, use the download button and run the installer (you’ll need to close Chrome). Once you are all finished you can check again to make sure you are on the 64-bit version.