I downloaded iTunes 9.0.3 (64-bit) on my Windows 7 64-bit OS and I noticed that on installation the default directory was \Program Files (x86). I didn't change this, everything worked a charm.

Nevertheless, I'm curious if this means it's working in a "legacy mode" (32-bit) without taking advantage of the 64-bit OS. Looking in the two separated "Program Files" folders (both 32-bit and 64-bit) I see there are iTunes subfolders inside, although the bulk of the program resides on the x86 one. Is this normal?

Is it critical to install something on the \Program Files (64-bit) folder when you know you have downloaded a 64-bit version of the program? Does the OS know how to recognize 64-bit-capable programs alone? Is there a way to know my iTunes works in 64-bit mode?

  • You'll find a lot of applications installing to the Program Files(x86) folder. Anything that installs there is a 32-bit app. I switched from 64-bit to 32-bit Windows 7 because all of the apps that I'm running are available in 32-bit native, and very few are 64-bit native. But the Windows 7 handling of the 32/64 bit environment was quirky enough that I didn't really like it. Had I needed 64-bit for memory support, I would have dealt with it, but I didn't. Feb 9, 2010 at 0:30

4 Answers 4


I searched on my own (well, I should have done that earlier) in the Apple Support Communities and I found this and this thread. It seems that there is no 64-bit version. The simplest explanation is:

There is no 64 bit iTunes. The 64 bit installer installs 64 bit drivers but 32 bit itunes.


You should at least be able to see if your iTunes (or any other program) runs in 64-bit or 32-bit mode. When looking in the task manager the processes are indicated with 32- or 64-bit... At least they are in XP 64-bit.

  • Damn. Both iTunes.exe and iTunesHelper.exe run as 32-bit processes. Is there a way to fix this?!
    – Kensai
    Feb 4, 2010 at 10:37
  • The only way to fix it is to run native 64-bit applications. In this case it's apparently not 64-bit.
    – Anders
    Feb 4, 2010 at 11:21
  • But but but... I installed the supposed 64-bit version exactly for that reason. Should I inform Apple support for this?
    – Kensai
    Feb 4, 2010 at 15:10

It is not critical that applications be installed in their proper folder ("Program Files (x86)" or "Program Files"). In fact, you can install all your 32-bit and 64-bit applications together in "C:\HereTheyAre" without any problems if you wish. They best way to tell is in the Task Manager, you will see *iTunes.exe 32. iTunes is indeed 32-bits.

I have a relatively big collection (30000 items) and iTunes only currently takes up about 100MB of RAM. Since the main benefit of 64-bit is access to more memory (or better integration with the OS where applicable), it is understandable that they don't take the effort of releasing and maintaining it both versions.

What benefits would you expect from a 64-bit version?


This is what Scott Hanselman said about it:

Since both apps are 32-bit apps running on 64-bit Vista, they are each installed to "c:\program files (x86)." Apparently iTunes has hardcoded "c:\program files" so iTunesSetup goes looking for QuickTime in "c:\program files\quicktime" rather that where it really ended up.

So I assume it's compatible with 64 bit, but the destination folder is always x86 because it's perhaps hardcoded

More info can be found here

  • Yep, hardcoded instructions seem to me the most plausible explanation.
    – Kensai
    Feb 4, 2010 at 10:38
  • Why would you assume from the above quote that it's a 64-bit app, when the quote explicitly says "Since both apps are 32-bit apps...". Feb 9, 2010 at 0:25
  • I have no idea what the real difference within the application would have to be between 32 and 64 bit, but I meant to say that this way it's compatible with 64 bit even if it's in the wrong folder
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 9, 2010 at 6:54

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