How can I change Windows 7 64bit to 32bit without reinstalling Windows?

Nkrumah Boakye October 29, 2011

How can I change Windows 7 64bit to 32bit without reinstalling Windows?

  1. Christian
    July 14, 2012 at 11:42 am

    You can't. You need to do a clean install.

  2. Da
    June 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    How to change from 32 bit to 64 bit window 7. Do you have to clean the hard drive before insert 64 bit disc.

    • Bruce Epper
      June 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      If there is anything on the system you want to save, do that first, then boot with the 64-bit OS disk. During the process, it will reformat the hard drive where you choose to install it since MS does not support any form of in-place upgrade for this type of operation.

    • Oron
      June 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      The 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows are two completely different pieces of software, despite the identical appearance and the 64 bit version's compatibility with (most) 32 bit applications. You can't "upgrade" from one to the other in the sense of adding files or changing some systems, but have to do a full installation. Therefore, as Bruce suggests, back up whatever you want to keep (data files, favourites or bookmarks, email storage, setting files...), then install the new system.

  3. Zhq111
    June 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    you must reinstall window, for 32 bit

  4. Sahil
    June 13, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Use a vmwear workstatio ...

  5. niket
    June 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    How can I change Windows 7 64bit to 32bit without reinstalling Windows?

    • Oron
      June 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      You can't, it's a different software (i.e. it's not a minor version of the same thing, but really different, even though it looks identical).

    • Susendeep Dutta
      June 7, 2012 at 5:53 am

      You have to install 32-bit Windows 7 to get 32-bit version of Windows 7 on your PC.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      Hello, as you have already heard, it is not possible to do this unless you reformat your computer and install the operating system you want. Of course for you to do this, you will need an installation disk and probably a key depending on other factors.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Hello, What version of windows 7 does your computer have? If you have a version of windows 7 pro and above you can use the XP virtual machine provided by Microsoft. If you do it this way, you can start your system in windows 7 and then just start the windows XP virtual machine that is an x86 version. This would be the optimal solution for you.

    Another possibility if you want to keep windows 7 x64 and have windows 7 x86, would be to create a dual boot. Create another partition in you harddrive and install the x86 version there. Of course for doing this, you would need to have an installation disc and a license.

    Other than this, there is no possible downgrade from x64 to x86.

  7. bridgett
    May 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I purchased this new computer. I am trying to get with Convegys working at home. They ask you to test your computer. The message I received stated that I needed to have a 32 bit mode.

    It asks that you start the computer in the 32 bit mode. That is why I am trying to do this. Thank you for your assistance.

    • ha14
      May 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      By default on windows 64bit there are two program files folders, 'Program Files' and 'Program Files (x86)'. By default, 32-bit applications will install to 'Program Files (x86)', and 64-bit applications will install to 'Program Files'.

      It may be that your application is not compatible with Windows 7 and not that it is a problem with your 64-bit versus 32-bit.
      If the program is not compatible, then try to install and run the program in compatibility mode.

      1) Right click on the Program
      2) Click on Properties
      3) Click on Compatibility tab
      4) Select Run this program in compatibility mode and select Windows Vista or another operating system the program was running successfully.

      Make older programs run in this version of Windows
      Right click on the program's shortcut (LNK file), .EXE file, BAT file, CMD file, or MSI file, and click on Troubleshoot compatibility.

      • Bruce Epper
        May 23, 2012 at 5:40 am

        It looks like this software ties into phone systems for call center operations for customer management. It is probably relying on system drivers that are 32-bit only and will require the host system to be running a 32-bit OS. Because of this, the only real option is to reinstall the OS as 32-bit or to do a parallel install to dual-boot the system.

  8. Quryous
    November 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Quicken has completely abandoned all the people who have bought Quicken's stand alone version of Home Inventory Manager. It only runs on 32-bit. They admit that it doesn't run on 64-bit, and that they have no plans to update the program. The Home Inventory Manager will "sort of" run in Virtual XP-Mode, but it is so slow, even on a high-end machine, that it is completely useless. Does anyone know of a solution? Is there any way to export my hundreds of records to XLS or CSV formats? There is none in the program, though it certainly should have that feature.

  9. Ioot
    October 31, 2011 at 7:58 am

    You can't do that. But there is no reason to do that, in because you can run 32 bit applications in the 64 bit version. And if you had trouble running them, then you can change the mode of the application to XP, Windows 95, etc by right clicking on the icon and selecting Properties > Compatibility.

  10. Trishul Shukla
    October 30, 2011 at 8:52 am

    unable to open any application or file on the  window 7 if open so error comes adobe reader cannot read this files or apps pl help

    • Jay
      October 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

      Looks like all the files are set to open with acrobat reader.
      Try to open an mp3 file.
      Right click on it open with >>windows media player or any music player.
      and see if it can play the file.

      if a virus has changed all your file associations.
      go to system restore and restore to a point when the problem did not exist.

      First restart the pc, may be it will get normal automatically.

      • Trishul Shukla
        October 30, 2011 at 9:07 am

        hey i have restore my pc but still the same problem persist  ya but m able to play music files and video files in my pc  but all the ikon on my desktop shows as adobe reader 8.1 ikon pls help

      October 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Hello, You would get more answers if you open a question of your own.

    October 30, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Hello, it is not possible without reinstalling.  If you want to have a windows 7 x86 bits installation you have two other options.  The first one is running it in a virtual machine and the other option a dual boot your system.  You can make another partition and keep the installation of 7 x64 in one partition and windows 7 x86 in the other. 

    Seriously now, there is simply no reason to choose x86 to x64 any way you look at it.  There is no compatibility issues unless you are trying to run programs that run in  operating systems under XP.  If your computer came already installed with windows 7 x64, I am pretty sure that at least it came with 3GB of RAM if not 4+.  Now, if it is a home built computer it is another thing all together.  Let us say that your computer came with 4GB of memory when bought, it you go back to 32 bits you will not be able to use the 4GB of memory unless you implement some patches or if you have a version of Windows 7 Pro minimun.  If you have the home editions you will not use your 4GB of RAM.

    Another point to consider is the fact that if your computer came preinstalled with x64 and you do a clean install to x86, you will probably not be able to install the operating system with the key you have.  You will probably end up buying the installation disk. 

    • Kuro Neko
      October 30, 2011 at 6:45 am

      Just a side note. I've encountered a little app that can backup and restore your registration. This is important esp on computer preinstalled with Windows (OEM license). I believe the apps can restore the license on different architecture (x86 -to-x64 or vice versa), but it MUST be the same hardware and version

      • FIDELIS
        October 30, 2011 at 7:14 am

        Hello, I would be interested in finding out the name of the application you speak of.  I know a couple of them but it does not hurt any to know of a different one.  That is, as long as it is not a loader or software like that is....

  12. Jay
    October 30, 2011 at 4:33 am

    why do you want to change to 32 bits from 64 bits ? Is compatibility problem for any program is the reason?
    You can try virtual pc xp mode.

    Else reinstalling is the only option.
    But, It is recommended to use 64 bit.

    • Jeff Fabish
      October 30, 2011 at 4:38 am

      It's only beneficial to use 64 bit if (s)he has four gigs of ram or more, otherwise it can be downright detrimental to use 64 bit. With Virtual PC, he essentially will be doing the same thing, re-installing to use a 32bit version. 

      • Jay
        October 30, 2011 at 4:50 am

        Yes, that's why I asked the reason, if RAM is the problem, re-installation is the only option.

        But if enough RAM is there, and compatibility for any software is the problem, then you can give virual pc/xp mode a try.
        Because it is the only possibility of not Re-installing and still running a different platform for free.
        That's why Microsoft has provided this feature.

      October 30, 2011 at 5:13 am

      Hello, just remember that not all editions of windows 7 can use the virtual pc xp mode.

      • Jay
        October 30, 2011 at 5:22 am

        Professional and Ultimate can.

        • FIDELIS
          October 30, 2011 at 5:36 am

          hello, I know that but remember that most computers do not come with those editions.  As a norm, unless it is an expensive computer, they come with the home editions.

      • Brian
        October 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

        He can use VMware. It's not OS dependent.

  13. Jeff Fabish
    October 30, 2011 at 1:46 am

    As Mike stated, this can not be done. You will need to reinstall using the 32bit disk. 

  14. Mike
    October 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Unfortunately there is no upgrade or downgrade option between 32bit and 64bit Windows.

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