On Windows, like:

is64 abc.exe  


is32 def.exe  

While abc.exe is compiled 64-bit and def.exe is 32-bit on Windows.

  • Not that I know of but creating an utility that reads the PE header of a binary shouldn't be overwhelmingly difficult. Studying the PE format right now, will answer if I figure it out.
    – user39485
    Aug 31 '12 at 9:49
  • 'Kay, figured it out and answered with a package of command line tools doing what you asked. I think.
    – user39485
    Aug 31 '12 at 12:15
  • 1

Is there a command line tool to check 32-bit or 64-bit of an exe?


c:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin>file file.exe
file.exe; PE32 executable for MS Windows (console) Intel 80386 32-bit

c:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin>cd ..\..\evernote\evernote   
c:\Program Files (x86)\Evernote\Evernote>file evernote.exe
evernote.exe; PE32 executable for MS Windows (GUI) Intel 80386 32-bit

c:\Program Files (x86)\Evernote\Evernote>cd c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer    
c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer>file iexplore.exe
iexplore.exe; PE32+ executable for MS Windows (GUI) Mono/.Net assembly

The PE32 format stands for Portable Executable 32-bit, while PE32+ is Portable Executable 64-bit format.

See http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/file.htm


is64 abc.exe

Not exactly like that.

You can use the -b option to exclude the filename from the output, then you just need some command-line kung fu to extract the first word (PE32 or PE32+) compare it with PE32+ and use that in your ìf` statement.

Windows 10

On Windows 10, if you have the anniversary update, if you enable the bash shell, you can open a bash shell and use the file command like this

rgb@MYPCNAME:/mnt/c$ file install.exe
install.exe: PE32 executable (GUI) Intel 80386, for MS Windows


rgb@MYPCNAME:/mnt/c/Program Files/Internet Explorer$ file ieinstal.exe
ieinstal.exe: PE32+ executable (GUI) x86-64, for MS Windows

I wrote a pair of programs strictly doing what you asked for (With the addition of error messages on errors et cetera.) (And actually, it's one program with a define that changes its behaviour to be perfectly accurate, but that doesn't matter.)

You can find them on my Dropbox, here. Source code is included in the package but you can discard it if it's unneeded. It's basically only included in case you don't trust my binaries.

Example of use:

>is32 C:\Windows\System32\taskmgr.exe

>is64 C:\Windows\System32\taskmgr.exe

Basically, the program works by first memory-mapping the binary, then locating the PE header and finally simply comparing the Machine field to the value for whichever architecture you ask for. Essentially a very simple process.

  • 1
    While file is probably the better solution, the +1 is because this kind of help should be rewarded.
    – Ben
    Oct 3 '14 at 10:10
$  file access-client-win32.exe 

access-client-win32.exe: PE32 executable for MS Windows (console) Intel 80386 32-bit

$ file access-client-win64.exe

access-client-win64.exe: PE32+ executable for MS Windows (console) Mono/.Net assembly

win32.exe -> PE32

win64.exe -> PE32+

ps: PE -> Portable Executable

  • Remember to properly format your answer. Use a right angle bracket > before each line of a block quote, and indent code blocks with four spaces.
    – bwDraco
    Dec 10 '14 at 7:31

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