Figuring out whether you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows only takes a couple of steps and the tools are already built into Windows. Here’s how to find out what you’re running.

Whether you’re running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows makes a pretty big difference. Running a 64-bit version of Windows means having better security and the ability to use more memory in your system. And, if you have a system that supports it, making the switch from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows is free—even if it does require a bit of work. We’ll walk you through how to find out whether you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of any version of Windows from XP through 10.

Checking Your Version of Windows 10

To check whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10, open the Settings app by pressing Windows+I, and then head to System > About. On the right side, look for the “System type” entry. It will show you two pieces of information—whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system and whether you have a 64-bit capable processor.

Checking Your Version of Windows 8

If you’re running Windows 8, head to Control Panel > System. You can also hit Start and search for “system” to find the page quickly. Look for the “System type” entry to see whether your operating system and processor are 32-bit or 64-bit.

Checking Your Version of Windows 7 or Vista

If you’re using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, hit Start, right-click “Computer,” and then choose “Properties.”

On the “System” page, look for the “System type” entry to see whether your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit. Note that, unlike in Windows 8 and 10, the “System type” entry in Windows 7 does not show whether your hardware is 64-bit capable.

Checking Your Version of Windows XP

There’s almost no point in checking whether you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows XP, because you’re almost definitely running a 32-bit version. Still, you can check by opening the Start menu, right-clicking “My Computer,” and then clicking “Properties.”

In the System Properties window, head to the “General” tab. If you’re running a 32-bit version of Windows it won’t say anything here other than “Microsoft Windows XP.” If you’re running a 64-bit version, it will be indicated on this window.


RELATED: Why Are Most Programs Still 32-bit on a 64-bit Version of Windows?

Checking whether you’re running 32-bit or 64-bit is easy, and follows nearly the same process on any version of Windows. And once you’ve figured it out, you can decide whether you want to use 64-bit or 32-bit apps.

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people.
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