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

Screenshot of the System window in Windows 10
Windows 10 (64-bit) System Information.

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 running 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.

Note: 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.

Tip: 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?

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.

    Tip: 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, click or touch on System and then skip to Step 4.
  2. Touch or click on System and Security within Control Panel.

    Note: 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, find System and touch or click on it, then skip to Step 4.
  1. With the System and Security window now open, click or touch System.
  2. With the System applet now open, titled View basic information about your computer, find the System area, located under the large Windows logo.

    The System type will say either 64-bit Operating System or 32-bit Operating System.

    Note: The second bit of information, either x64-based processor or x86-based processor, indicates the hardware architecture. It is 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.

    Tip: System, the Control Panel applet that contains the Windows system type, can also be opened by executing the control /name Microsoft.System command from Run or Command Prompt.

    Windows 7: 64-bit or 32-bit?

    1. Click or tap on the Start button and then Control Panel.

    2. Click or tap on the System and Security link.

      Note: If you're viewing either the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Just click or touch on the System icon and then proceed to Step 4.

    3. In the System and Security window, click/tap on the System link.

    4. When the System window opens, titled as View basic information about your computer, locate the System area below the oversized Windows logo.

    5. In the System area, look for System type among the other statistics about your computer.

      The System type will report either a 32-bit Operating System or a 64-bit Operating System.

      Important: There is no 64-bit version of Windows 7 Starter Edition.

    Windows Vista: 64-bit or 32-bit?

    1. Click or touch on the Start button and then Control Panel.

    2. Click or touch on the System and Maintenance link.

      Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Just double-click or tap-and-hold on the System icon and proceed to Step 4.

    1. In the System and Maintenance window, click/touch on the System link.

    2. When the System window opens, titled as View basic information about your computer, locate the System area below the big Windows logo.

    3. In the System area, look for System type below the other statistics about your PC.

      The System type will report either a 32-bit Operating System or a 64-bit Operating System.

      Important: There is no 64-bit version of Windows Vista Starter Edition.

    Windows XP: 64-bit or 32-bit?

    1. Click or tap on Start and then Control Panel.

    2. Click or tap on the Performance and Maintenance link.

      Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Just double-click or tap-and-hold on the System icon and proceed to Step 4.

    1. In the Performance and Maintenance window, click or touch on the System link.

    2. When the System Properties window opens, locate the System area to the right of the Windows logo.

      Note: You should be on the General tab in System Properties.

    3. Under System: you'll see 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.

      Important: 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.

    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.

    If your version of Windows is 64-bit, you're able to install both 32-bit and 64-bit software programs, so there's 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\

    32-bit versions of Windows have just one folder:

    • 32-bit location: C:\Program Files\

    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.

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