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32 or 64-bit Operating System

Which operating system (OS) does your computer have?

An often confusing topic for most people made worse by the fact that the designation for a 32-bit machine is x86 while a 64-bit machine is x64.  Fortunately, it's easy to tell what kind of OS you have.  Follow these instructions for Windox 7, Vista, and XP to find out if you have a 32 or 64-bit OS.

Windows 7 & Vista

  1. Click on the round Windows Start button in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  2. Right-click on the Computer menu item.
  3. Select Properties (see red circle) from the popup menu.
  4. Note that the system type on my Win 7 system is 32-bit (circled red below).

Windows XP

  1. Click on the oval Windows Start button in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  2. Right-click on My Computer and then click on Properties.
  3. In General tab of the System Properties, if you see the words "x64 Edition" in the System group, you are using a 64-bit OS.  Otherwise, you are using a 32-bit OS.

Last updated: 5/17/2013

Compatibility: Windows 7, Vista, & XP