Am I using 32 bit or 64 bit Windows?

This document helps you find out if you're using a 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows.

Document 1050  ¦  Last updated:  07/20/2015 KMG

Sometimes, it becomes necessary to know if you are using a 32‑ or 64‑bit version of Windows.  Here's how to check:

  1. If you're using Windows Vista through Windows 10, simply pop open the Run dialog box using the Windows Key + R.
  2. Now, copy and paste control /name Microsoft.System in to the Open: field.
  3. Finally, click OK.
  4. In the window that appears, look under the System heading for System Type, which will say "32‑bit Operating System" or "64‑bit Operating System" depending on which version you have installed.

So, what's the major difference in using a 64‑bit operating system and a 32‑bit operating system?  If you look at the image above, you'll see that the machine is running a 64‑bit operating system, and has 16GB of memory (RAM) installed.  If that machine had a 32‑bit operating system, it would be capped at 4GB of RAM, whereas a 64‑bit operating system can support far more than that.

What about Windows XP? — There is almost no point in checking on Windows XP, because you're most likely running a 32‑bit version.  While Microsoft did release a 64‑bit version of Windows XP, it was plagued with stability and driver issues, and had a very low market share.

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