Software & Apps Windows 149 149 people found this article helpful How to Tell If You Have Windows 64-Bit or 32-Bit See if your Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, or XP install is 32-bit or 64-bit By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated April 01, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email Not sure if your installed version of Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit? If you're running Windows XP, chances are it's 32-bit. However, if you're on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista, the chance that you're running a 64-bit version goes up considerably. Of course, this isn't something you want to take a guess at. Knowing if your copy of Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit becomes very important when installing device drivers for your hardware and choosing between certain kinds of software. One quick way to tell if you're running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows is by looking at information about your operating system installation in Control Panel. However, the specific steps involved depend a lot on which operating system you're using. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which of those several versions of Windows is installed on your computer. Another quick and simple way to check if you're running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows is to check the "Program Files" folder. There's more on that at the very bottom of this page. Windows 10 & Windows 8: 64-Bit or 32-Bit? Open the Control Panel. You can check your Windows system type much faster from the Power User Menu, but it's probably speedier that way only if you're using a keyboard or mouse. With that menu open, select System and then skip to Step 4. Choose System and Security within Control Panel. You won't see a System and Security link in Control Panel if your view is set to either Large icons or Small icons. If so, select System and then skip to Step 4. Choose System. This screen can also be opened by executing the control /name Microsoft.System command from Run or Command Prompt. Find the System area, located under the large Windows logo. Within there, next to System type, it will say either 64-bit Operating System or 32-bit Operating System. The second bit of information, either x64-based processor or x86-based processor, indicates the hardware architecture. It's possible to install a 32-bit edition of Windows on either an x86 or x64 based system, but a 64-bit edition can only be installed on x64 hardware. You should now know for certain whether Windows 10/8 is 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7: 64-Bit or 32-Bit? Go to Start > Control Panel. Choose System and Security. Don't see it? Just choose System and then proceed to Step 4. Select System. Locate the System area below the oversized Windows logo, and look for System type among the other statistics about your computer. This will report either 32-bit Operating System or 64-bit Operating System. There is no 64-bit version of Windows 7 Starter Edition. Now you know whether you have Windows 7 64-bit or 32-bit. Windows Vista: 64-Bit or 32-Bit? Select Control Panel from the Start menu. Choose System and Maintenance. If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Just open System instead and then proceed to Step 4. Select System. Locate the System area below the big Windows logo. Within that section is one called System type. Look here to see if you have Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit, indicated by either 32-bit Operating System or 64-bit Operating System. There is no 64-bit version of Windows Vista Starter Edition. You should now know whether you have Windows Vista 64-bit or 32-bit. Windows XP: 64-Bit or 32-Bit? Select Start and then choose Control Panel. Select Performance and Maintenance. If you don't see this link, open System and then go down to Step 4. Choose System. Locate the System area to the right of the Windows logo. You should be on the General tab in System Properties. Under System is basic information about the version of Windows XP installed on your computer: Microsoft Windows XP Professional Version [year] means you're running Windows XP 32-bit.Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Version [year] means you're running Windows XP 64-bit. There are no 64-bit versions of Windows XP Home or Windows XP Media Center Edition. If you have either of these editions of Windows XP, you're running a 32-bit operating system. Now you know if you're running Windows XP 64-bit or 32-bit. Check the 'Program Files' Folder Name This method isn't as easy to understand as using Control Panel but it does provide a quick way of checking on whether you're running a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows, and is especially helpful if you're looking for this information from a command line tool. If your version of Windows is 64-bit, you're able to install both 32-bit and 64-bit software programs, so there are two different "Program Files" folders on your computer. However, 32-bit versions of Windows have just one folder since they can only install 32-bit programs. Here's an easy way to comprehend this... Two program folders exist on a 64-bit version of Windows: 32-bit location: C:\Program Files (x86)\64-bit location: C:\Program Files\ 'Program Files' Folders in Windows 10 64-bit. 32-bit versions of Windows have just one folder: 32-bit location: C:\Program Files\ 'Program Files' Folder in Windows 10 32-bit. Therefore, if you find only one folder when checking this location, you're using a 32-bit version of Windows. If there are two "Program Files" folder, you're for sure using a 64-bit version.