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I am looking for the simplest method I could provide to a non-tech saavy end user to find out if their Windows PC is 32 or 64 bit.

This has to be something they could do manually - i.e., I don't have the ability to run anything on their PC.

The "ideal" solution would be a single step such as pressing a hotkey (i.e., ⊞+something) or directing them to a website which would detect this information (just as examples, I'm not sure if either is possible / available.)


I really am looking for the bitness of Windows, not the hardware, because we almost certainly have some users with 32-bit Windows running on 64-bit hardware. As a fallback though, detecting the hardware would be better than nothing.

So although I've read here and here, neither is the ideal solution.

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  • Are you asking if the processor architecture is 32/64, or are you asking if the installed Windows is 32/64? – Jeff Zeitlin May 2 '18 at 12:06
  • @JeffZeitlin I added that to the question literally at the same time you asked :) – StayOnTarget May 2 '18 at 12:07
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    I'm reasonably sure it's a duplicate but I can't find it right now. – Bob May 2 '18 at 12:12
  • I can't leave an answer, probably because this question is marked as a dupe, but user-agent strings in a browser might be a good start: useragentstring.com . You could try and auto-detect based on the UA, then if that fails, provide steps as outlined in one of the answers. This is especially useful if you're building a website that offers a download. – Grayda May 2 '18 at 13:27
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    For what it's worth, This StackOverflow question will get the bittedness of the hardware, independent of the bittedness of the OS. – Jeff Zeitlin May 2 '18 at 15:10
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I really am looking for the bitness of Windows

The "ideal" solution would be a single step

The shortest solution requires requires pressing 2 keys.

  1. Press winkey logo+Pause (i.e., "Windows" key + Pause key)

Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10:

  1. Look at the "System type" entry:

    • It will display 32-bit Operating System for a 32-bit version of Windows, and

    • It will display 64-bit Operating System if you're running the 64-bit version.


    Example:

    enter image description here

Windows XP:

  1. Select the General tab of the System Properties window:

    • If it has the text Windows XP, the computer is running the 32-bit version of Windows XP.

    • If it has the text Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, the computer is running the 64-bit version of Windows XP.

Note:

  • Some keyboards do not have a Pause key.
  • In this case you can use the following substitutes:
  • Fn+P or Fn+Ctrl+P or Fn+Alt+P on Lenovo laptops.
  • Fn+B on some Dell laptops.
  • Fn+Shift on some HP laptops.

Source Break key - Wikipedia

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Press the Windows Key (winkey logo) + Pause to open the system information window. The information you are looking for is in the System type field.

On a laptop, the Pause key may not be readily accessible - it might be necessary to hold the Fn key too, and the Pause key is often hidden as an alternate function of the Shift key.

Screenshot of relevant field


On Windows 10 and maybe 8, this window can also be opened via the Windows Key (winkey logo) + X, release the Windows Key, and press y by itself (this selects the System entry, and can change depending on the system language).

Screenshot of new Win10 window


An alternative method is to open the Windows File Explorer and navigate to the C:\ drive. If a Program Files (x86) folder exists, then it's a 64-bit system. I find most users at least know how to go to C:\.

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  • Windows+X opens the Windows Mobility Center on Windows 7 ... :/ – DavidPostill May 2 '18 at 12:36
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    @DavidPostill Good point, Win+X was only introduced on 8. It definitely works on 10 but I don't have 8 right now. – Bob May 2 '18 at 12:39
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I'd have to check my Windows 10 computer at home, but for Windows 7, right-click COMPUTER on the Start Menu and select PROPERTIES will pop up the System control panel, which has that info:

enter image description here

As others have noted, this can also be obtained by the key combination Windows+Pause.

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I'm think easiest way of see it is in the Computer Propierties.

All Windows versions since Windows 95 have this form available by cliking right button of mouse over the Computer Icon. Tell your costumer that reads the first words of this form an they will say what version of Windows he have for sure.

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In windows 10, if you want an entirely keyboard based access to the 'System' menu, you can use windows key + pause key.

The problem with this being, not all users will be able to find the pause key!

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