Technology Explained Windows

Do I Have 32-Bit or 64-Bit Windows? Here’s How to Tell

Gavin Phillips Updated 20-06-2019

Are you using a processor that supports a 64-bit operating system? If so, are you using a 64-bit operating system? More to the point, how do you tell if Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit?


64-bit Windows versions and 64-bit processors are becoming the norm. You might even notice the option to download a 64 or 32-bit version of a new game or app, or when you purchase a new PC or laptop. Isn’t the software the same?

Here’s how you can check if your computer is 64-bit or 32-bit—and why that is important.

What’s the Difference Between x86 and x64?

There are some great reasons why 64-bit Windows is better than its 32-bit counterpart. The two biggest reasons relate to computing power.

First, a 64-bit processor can perform faster calculations and handle more data at once. Second, a 64-bit processor can store more memory locations, allowing you to use more RAM. In turn, your overall system performance increases, and everyone is a winner.

I’m not going to delve too deep into the differences. Check out the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows What's the Difference Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Windows? What's the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows? Here's a simple explanation and how to check which version you have. Read More for a further explanation.


1. Check Your System Information

The first port of call is your computer’s System Information. The System Information tool tells you a bunch of useful information about your PC, including the amount of installed RAM, the Windows version you’re using, and whether your system is 32 or 64-bit.

Press Windows Key + X, then select System. A new window will open. Under Device Specifications, check for System Type. If you have a 64-bit processor, it will tell you. For instance, I am using 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, on an x64-based processor:

windows system info

Why it’s useful: This is the quickest and easiest way to figure out whether you are running a 64-bit operating system, what model processor powers your machine, and how much RAM is currently installed.


2. Use a Command in Command Prompt

The Command Prompt will reveal all manner of secrets and information about your system. In this case, you can use a single command to reveal if your system is 32 or 64-bit.

Type command in your Start Menu search bar, select the result Best match, then right-click and select Run as administrator. Once the Command Prompt opens, input the following command:

set pro

The command instantly returns a list of information regarding your processor. There are a few bits of information that quickly reveal if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system. Specifically, PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE, PROCESSOR_IDENTIFIER, and the presence of the ProgramFiles(x86) folder.

windows command set pro processor info


The processor architecture and processor identifier both feature the number “64” which denote a 64-bit processor. Furthermore, the ProgramFiles(x86) folder shows us that there are two Program Files folders, also indicating a 64-bit operating system.

32-bit operating systems only have one Program Files folder as the operating system can only use 32-bit programs, whereas a 64-bit system can use programs of both architectures.

Why it’s useful: Using the Command Prompt gives you an immediate overview of your processor, rather than just the operating system. As you can see in the screenshot, the “set pro” command instantly reveals your processor architecture type, its identifier, level, revision, and other important information.

3. Program Files

Spurring directly from the last method, simply navigating to your main drive’s root directory can be enough to do the trick.


Program Files

32-bit versions of Windows will only include a single Program Files folder, while the two folders you see above will be present on any 64-bit system. The Program Files (x86) folder is where applications that are meant to run on 32-bit systems are installed. The main Program Files folder is where all 64-bit applications 3 Websites to Find Software Compatible With 64-Bit Operating Systems Chances are, those of you who are buying a brand new computer in the next year will be getting your hands on something running a 64-bit operating system. x64 has its pros and cons, but... Read More reside.

Why it’s useful: A lot of software now comes in both 32 and 64-bit versions. While just glancing at the folders reveals if you’re on a 64-bit operating system or not, actually browsing through your Program Files folder for 32-bit applications is a good way of seeing which applications you have installed that might be worth a potential upgrade to a 64-bit version.

4. Check Task Manager Details

The Windows Task Manager holds a vast amount of information regarding your computer. You can also use it to find out if a program is 32 or 64-bit. If you see that your system is using both 32 and 64-bit software, you know that your processor and operating system is 64-bit.

Press Windows Key + X, then select Task Manager. Now, switch to the Details tab. Right-click a column name and open Select Columns, scroll down and check Platform, then hit OK. The Task Manager Details tab now shows if your software is 32 or 64-bit.

windows task manager details

Why it’s useful: The Task Manager Details tab gives you a lot of useful information at a glance. Adding the Platform tab lets you figure out the software architecture, too.

5. 64bit Checker

windows 64 bit system checker

If somehow the previous four options have not revealed if your system is 32 or 64-bit, you have the software option.

Igorware’s 64bit Checker is a free Windows tool that quickly and effectively checks your system architecture. 64bit Checker gives you information about the operating system, your CPU regarding its 64-bit compatibility, as well as the version of Windows you are running.

In the Report tab, you have a plaintext version of the information. You can copy and paste this into another program or save as an HTML or text file.

Why it’s useful: 64bit Checker tells you everything you need to know. You don’t have to do anything technical or search for information, for example, whether your processor can handle a 64-bit operating system. You run the application, read through the table or the text report, and you learn the specifics.

Do I Have 32-Bit or 64-Bit Window?

The number of new 32-bit systems continues to fall. Manufacturers and developers recognize the shift, too. Several popular Linux distributions are ending their 32-bit versions. Nvidia stopped producing drivers for 32-bit Windows versions back in 2017. Apple phased out 32-bit apps from the App Store in 2018, and Google has similar plans for the Play Store.

The world is moving on from 32-bit operating systems. 64-bit has more power, can use more memory, and is becoming the norm. Still unsure? Here’s how you can choose between a 32 and 64-bit version of Windows How to Choose Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Windows Operating Systems Should you download 32-bit or 64-bit Windows? Here are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit installations to help you decide. Read More .

Related topics: 64-Bit, Operating Systems, Windows 10.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. ANNA
    November 14, 2016 at 11:54 am


  2. kim
    January 23, 2016 at 3:01 am

    doesn't help much exspecialy since your command prompt photo on here starts out in system 32 and this is what you posted "You can see that there is a path in this list pointing to Program Files specific to x86, which is an immediate giveaway that you’re on a 64-bit operating system. The 32-bit versions of Windows only use a single Program Files folder. So are you a x64 or a system 32 .

  3. parimal
    March 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    my laptop HDD crashed and need replacement. It was running windows vista home premium. Now i do not know whether it was 32 or 64 bit. How can i know which version 32 or 64 bit to install? Please its very urgent.

    Thank you

    • Craig Snyder
      March 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      If your hard drive needs to be replaced, it wouldn't matter which OS version you install on a replacement. I'd suggest getting the 64-bit version of Vista though. 32-bit versions can only support 4GB of RAM and less, so they aren't exactly future-proof.

  4. Bro
    December 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    How do you determine that your hardware is 64 bit when there is no operating system installed?

    • ionut
      December 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      You boot a linux live dvd/usb and use this command after you open a terminal
      % cat /proc/cpuinfo

      Look for "64" or use the processor model information and search it on the internet (for intel use

      An example output for a 64bit processor will be:
      $ cat /proc/cpuinfo
      processor : 0
      vendor_id : GenuineIntel
      cpu family : 6
      model : 23
      model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T6400 @ 2.00GHz
      stepping : 10
      microcode : 0xa0b
      cpu MHz : 1200.000
      cache size : 2048 KB
      physical id : 0
      siblings : 2
      core id : 0
      cpu cores : 2
      apicid : 0
      initial apicid : 0
      fpu : yes
      fpu_exception : yes
      cpuid level : 13
      wp : yes
      flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 xsave lahf_lm dtherm
      bugs :
      bogomips : 3990.02
      clflush size : 64
      cache_alignment : 64
      address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
      power management:

      processor : 1
      vendor_id : GenuineIntel
      cpu family : 6
      model : 23
      model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T6400 @ 2.00GHz
      stepping : 10
      microcode : 0xa0b
      cpu MHz : 1600.000
      cache size : 2048 KB
      physical id : 0
      siblings : 2
      core id : 1
      cpu cores : 2
      apicid : 1
      initial apicid : 1
      fpu : yes
      fpu_exception : yes
      cpuid level : 13
      wp : yes
      flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 xsave lahf_lm dtherm
      bugs :
      bogomips : 3990.02
      clflush size : 64
      cache_alignment : 64
      address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
      power management:

  5. Rebecca Z
    August 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I have a x64 windows. You can use dxdiag to find out what version of windows you are using

  6. Rajdeepak S
    August 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    you can also find by starting task manager and in the process tab if you see a process with ""*32"" ath the end the os is 64bit,try it.

  7. Jimmy
    August 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Doesn't tell me how much hard drive I have.

  8. Rudi N
    August 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Or just run the DirectX diagnostic window, 'dxdiag' from the start menu or run command or command prompt.

  9. dragonmouth
    August 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Whilst it's nice to know that one has a 64-bit O/S running on a 64-bit CPU, that fact provides very little advantage until applications become optimized or written to take advantage of the CPU and O/S.

  10. Vineed G
    August 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

    and if i want to check if my mobo is x64 then how come can i make sure???

    • likefunbutnot
      August 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      If your computer has any CPU newer than a Pentium 4 or adjective-less Athlon, it's 64-bit. That's effectively everything sold in the last eight years or so. And some of the Pentium 4s were 64-bit too. If your computer has a Windows Vista, 7 or 8 product sticker on it, you can assume that hardware support for a 64 bit OS is at least present.

      Intel Atom-based systems have 64-bit capable processors, but the system chipsets they are paired with very often won't allow for more than 2GB RAM.

    • likefunbutnot
      August 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      My all-time favorite keyboard shortcut in Windows is Windows Key + Break. This brings up the System Properties window, which is the absolute first thing I look at when I sit down at an unfamiliar PC.

  11. Pooky J
    August 4, 2013 at 7:58 am

    My crush's laptop (Dell Inspiron 14z 5423) was loaded with Win7 x86 even if it already has 4GB!

  12. Reuben W
    August 4, 2013 at 4:12 am

    In the 64-bit variant, Windows also offers digital signing of drivers, which means you won’t be crashing nearly as much.

    Last time I checked, the difference was that both offer digital signing, but 64-bit requires it.

    I also don't really see the point in downloading a program just to see info that's easily accessible in the System Information section.

    Anyway, the basic rule with computers these days is go with 64-bit. There's really no reason to go with 32-bit.

  13. SH
    August 4, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Thanks for the very useful post. I have a 64-bit system and note that the two program files folders have some duplicates. For example, iTunes shows up as both the 32-bit and 64-bit version. Can I delete the iTunes sub-folder in the x86 folder?