Is My Computer Running 32-Bit-or 64-Bit Windows? How to check?

Updated by Josh on Aug 02, 2022
 | Computer Instruction

 

32-bit-vs-64-bit.png

Reasons for Checking Your Computer's Bit Version

"Hi, there! I wanted to download an application on my computer but received a notification to confirm whether my computer is 32-bit or 64-bit. I've used my computer for three years, but I don't know its bit version. Please, could you help me know the Windows bit version for my computer so that I download the right program?"

If you have a similar problem to the scenario described, this article will help you solve it. You may want to know the Windows bit version for your computer for many reasons, including the following.  

First, you may have to choose your preferred bit version when you want to download and install applications or device drivers on your computer. Most applications and drivers got designed as either 32-bit or 64-bit. A 32-bit application will only work on a computer with a 32-bit Windows version, while a 64-bit program will run on both 64-bit and 32-bit operating systems.

Before installing, you should confirm if the program or device driver is compatible with your device. Second, you may want to check whether your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit to know the correct size of RAM to install. In most cases, a 32-bit computer will only support a RAM of 4GB and below.

If you pick a bigger RAM size, i.e., 16GB, it won't work well on your 32-bit OS since a large portion will go to waste. RAM size of more than 4GB will only work on a 64-bit device. Therefore, it's essential to research well before installing a new RAM on your computer. This article will outline steps to check if your computer is running a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows version. Read on.    

The Meaning of 32-Bit and 64-Bit Windows Versions

Every computer runs on either a 64-bit or 32-bit operating system. As discussed above, there are many reasons you want to use a 64-bit or 32-bit OS. Below is a description of what both terms mean.

Meaning of 32-Bit OS

If your computer runs on a 32-bit operating system, it can open 2v32 unique memory addresses. This translates to a RAM or physical memory of 4GB. Though inefficient, it can also have a physical memory space of more than 4GB. Moreover, 32-bit refers to information or data size your CPU can effectively handle when running an operation.

Meaning of 64-Bit OS

If a computer uses a 64-bit operating system, it implies that it can access 2v64 memory addresses. This is the same as saying your computer can access 18-Quintillion bytes of random access memory. If you want to conveniently access a RAM of greater than 4GB, using a 64-bit OS is the best option. This is because a 64-bit operating system allows you to operate on data represented in 64 bits.

Difference Between a 32-Bit OS and a 64-Bit OS

The first difference between a 32-bit and 64-bit OS is compatibility. If your computer runs on a 64-bit OS, it can support 32-bit and 64-bit programs and drivers. However, for a 32-bit OS, it can only support programs and system drivers that are 32-bit. Another difference is in terms of data and storage.

A 32-bit system can conveniently access only 4GB of RAM, while a 64-bit OS can access up to 18-Quintillion of random access memory. A 32-bit OS, therefore, has a limited performance compared to 64-bit, which can access more RAM and run different applications simultaneously.

Advantages of 64-Bit over 32-Bit

The main advantage of a 64-bit OS over a 32-bit is that the former allows multi-tasking. Since it gives you access to unlimited RAM, a 64-bit system gives you the room to perform many tasks concurrently. This feature is quite beneficial if you have limited time and want to accomplish a large chunk of work within a short time. The system will successfully run each task with minimal chances of breakdown or failure.

Therefore, a 64-bit processor can support programs that need a large random access memory before they run. If you're a gamer, a 64-bit OS is best for you since it supports high-graphic games like GTA V and Modern Warfare. You'll, therefore, not have to worry that your system will crash when having fun with your gaming friends. 

Ways to Tell If Your Computer Is Running 64-Bit or 32-Bit Windows Version

Computers installed with Windows 10/8/7 can either run using a 64-bit or 32-bit OS. To know the bit version used by your computer, you'll need to check it out. The steps for checking the Windows bit version on Windows 10/8 are the same. The earlier version of Windows (Windows 7) has slightly different stages. Let's look at how both techniques work.

Windows 10/8

You can know whether your OS is 64-bit or 32-bit through the following steps:

1. Open Control Panel.

2. Click on "System and Security."

system-name-and-security.png

3. Click on "System."

click-on-system.png

4. Navigate to the device specifications area below the Windows logo and look for "System type" to determine whether your OS is 32-bit or 64-bit.

system-type.png

You've now known the Windows bit version of your computer.

Windows 7

If you want to know the Windows bit version on Windows 7 and other earlier operating systems, you can apply the steps below:  

1. Click on the Start Menu and open Control Panel.

2. Choose "System and Security."

3. Click on "System."

4. Navigate to the area beneath the Windows logo and check out information about "System Type."

windows-7-system-type.png

From here, you can confirm whether your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit.

WindowsXP

Microsoft posted a support page for this. Check the detailed steps here.

Conclusion

Knowing the Windows bit version for your computer enables you to choose the suitable applications, device drivers, or CPUs to use. An operating system can either be 32-bit or 64-bit. A 32-bit OS can access 2v32 address spaces, while a 64-bit OS can access 2v64 address spaces. If you want to install a RAM size of more than 4GB, you should choose a 64-bit OS over the 32-bit version.

A larger RAM cannot work well on a 32-bit windows version since some space will remain unused. Regarding choosing between a 32-bit and 64-bit Windows version, we recommend 64-bit because it allows multi-tasking and high-graphic gaming.  

Was This Page Helpful?