How do I Identify Windows Architecture 32 Bit or 64 Bit?

by Oxana Fox

Microsoft releases both 32 and 64-bit versions of the Windows operating system. Those numbers refer to the width (in bits) of memory addressing the Windows can handle. A 32-bit system has a theoretical limit of 4 GB of the computer random access memory (RAM) it can support. The 64-bit Windows supports any amount of memory. Use the system information command available in each Windows version to find out the architecture type of your operating system.

Click "Start" in Windows.

Click on the "Run" button (in Windows XP). Skip this step on later Windows versions (Vista or 7).

Type "msinfo32.exe" in the field on the bottom of the "Start" menu; then press "Enter" on the keyboard. The system information window will appear.

Select the tab "System Summary" in the system information window.

Read the information about your Windows version given in the line "System type." "x86-based PC" indicates the 32-bit Windows while "x64-based PC" denotes the 64-bit version.

Tip

  • check The amount of memory on 64-bit Windows computers is still restricted, but only due to the hardware limitation; for example, you may install only 8 GB of RAM on the motherboard.

About the Author

Oxana Fox is a freelance writer specializing in medicine and treatment, computer software and hardware, digital photography and financial services. She graduated from Moscow Medical College in 1988 with formal training in pediatrics.