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How can I find out whether my install of Windows (specifically XP and Vista) is either 32 or 64 bit?

Additionally, how can I find out if my hardware will support a 64 bit operating system?

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grc.com/securable.htm will check bit level and as an added bonus will tell you a couple other things about your system. –  RCIX Sep 5 '09 at 4:21

7 Answers 7

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Windows Vista

If you have Windows Vista, there are two methods to determine whether you are running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version. If one does not work, try the other.

Method 1: View System window in Control Panel

  1. Click Start Collapse this imageExpand this image Start button , type system in the Start Search box, and then click system in the Programs list.
  2. The operating system is displayed as follows:
    • For a 64-bit version operating system: 64-bit Operating System appears for the System type under System.
    • For a 32-bit version operating system: 32-bit Operating System appears for the System type under System.

Method 2: View System Information window

  1. Click Start Collapse this imageExpand this image Start button , type system in the Start Search box, and then click System Information in the Programs list.
  2. When System Summary is selected in the navigation pane, the operating system is displayed as follows:
    • For a 64-bit version operating system: x64-based PC appears for the System type under Item.
    • For a 32-bit version operating system: x86-based PC appears for the System type under Item.

Windows XP

If you have Windows XP, there are two methods to determine whether you are running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version.

Method 1: System Manager

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
  3. Click the General tab. The operating system is displayed as follows:
    • For a 64-bit version operating system: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Version < Year> appears under System.
    • For a 32-bit version operating system: Windows XP Professional Version appears under System. Note is a placeholder for a year.

Method 2: View System Information window

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type winmsd.exe, and then click OK.
  3. When System Summary is selected in the navigation pane, locate Processor under Item in the details pane. Note the value.
    • If the value that corresponds to Processor starts with x86, the computer is running a 32-bit version of Windows.
    • If the value that corresponds to Processor starts with ia64 or AMD64, the computer is running a 64-bit version of Windows.

As for hardware question, what hardware are you running?

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@joshhunt thanks for the edit. Makes it look pretty ;) –  MyHat Sep 5 '09 at 1:49
    
I want know in general how can understand Hardware support 64 bit or 32 bit. –  Am1rr3zA Sep 5 '09 at 1:51
    
Well that would all depend on the type of hardware your trying to install. Lets say you are trying to install a video card it should say if it support 32 or 64 bit.. usually supports both. –  MyHat Sep 5 '09 at 1:53
    
@MyHat - No worries :) –  David Pearce Sep 5 '09 at 2:32

Quick way to determine if your copy of Windows is 64-bit:

  • Press Windows-Break key combination
  • Look for x64 in the System Properties

enter image description here

Vista:

  • Press Windows-Break key combination
  • Look for System Type

enter image description here

How to tell if your processor supports 64-bit extensions from looking at the part:

  • AMD: Any AMD K8 or newer based part is 64-bit unless sold as 32-bit only. This includes Athlon 64 or Opteron, and all the Athlon X2's and higher are 64-bit and some Semperons
  • Intel: I actually don't know how to determine it is 64-bit other than looking for EM64T designation for the part. Maybe somebody else can have a better answer here.

If you are running the part, just run CPU-Z on it.

Motherboard:

  • It just has to support a processor that is 64-bit.
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msinfo32

Start -> Run -> msinfo32

Both OS type and system type have been highlighted:

enter image description here

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Open a command prompt and type set proc.

  • If the output includes PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE=AMD64, you're using 64-bit Windows.
  • If the output includes PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE=x86, you're using 32-bit Windows. However, if the output also includes PROCESSOR_ARCHITEW6432=AMD64, this means that you're running a 32-bit command interpreter on 64-bit Windows.
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If you mean physically have 64 bit, most modern computers do - check either Intel or AMD for your CPU.


If you mean software -

For Windows XP, Vista and 7, the easiest and by far the fastest way is simply to open your C (or alternate root) drive and see if you have both a "Program Files" directory and a "Program Files (x86)" Directory.

If you do, you are running 64 bit, if you only see "Program Files" you are running 32 bit.

alt text


An even quicker way is to press Windows Key+Pause/Break and it should bring up System Information. Just read under "System Type" and you should see (in Windows Vista & 7 "64-bit Operating System" (safe bet you would see 32 bit under Windows, but never run it!)

enter image description here

(In Windows Vista and 7)

For XP, I think you just see x64 if 64 bit, and nothing for 32 bit systems.

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I've seen apps that install themselves in "Program Files (x86)" even on 32-bit Windows. –  ThatGraemeGuy Sep 5 '09 at 7:34

If you're stuck in a computer lab that has everything locked down for "security" reasons (like those at my university), you can still run CMD and type in SystemInfo.

Once that's completed running, scroll to the top of the list and locate "System Type:". I can't remember what it says on a 64 bit OS, but a 32 bit says "x86-based PC". That being said, a 64 bit OS will probably say "x64-based PC".

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You can also run winver: just hit Win+R and type it.

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