It’s not difficult to determine whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 10 installed. Knowing which one you have can help you choose apps and hardware, though you shouldn’t have to worry too much if you’re buying a new device today.
How to check if you’re running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 10
Open the Settings app (press the Win + I keyboard shortcut to get there from whatever you were doing) to see what you have on your current PC. Scroll down the left navigation menu to the “About” page by clicking the “System” category.
Scroll down to the “Device specifications” header on this screen. You’ll find the architecture type of your Windows installation, as well as the architecture type of your underlying hardware, under “System type.” You have 64-bit Windows installed if you see “64-bit operating system.”
If you see “32-bit operating system,” pay attention to the processor type displayed as well. Your device should be able to run 64-bit Windows if you see “x64-based processor.” Despite the fact that most new devices now come with 64-bit Windows, some products – particularly those with less than 4GB of RAM – still come with a 32-bit installation, despite the fact that their processors are often 64-bit compatible.
You might be able to install 64-bit Windows if you have a 64-bit processor and a 32-bit Windows installation. Moving from 32-bit to 64-bit, on the other hand, necessitates a complete reinstallation. Make a backup first, and plan on reinstalling all of your current apps on your new system.
You should also look into whether there are any other issues that could prevent you from running 64-bit Windows. Some devices, for example, may not have 64-bit drivers, while others may ship with 32-bit bootloaders – despite the fact that the processor is 64-bit compatible.
If your device is compatible with 64-bit Windows, there are several reasons to upgrade. The main advantage of a 64-bit operating system is that it can support significantly more memory. Windows allocates a maximum of 2GB of RAM to each application on 32-bit systems, which is limited to 4GB. 2GB is simply insufficient for many modern apps, such as photo and video editors.
The maximum memory limit in 64-bit Windows 10 is increased to 128GB for Home edition customers and 2TB for Pro customers, with no restrictions on how much each app can use. 64-bit operation also allows for more efficient memory allocation, which boosts your system’s performance even more. Finally, 64-bit Windows has more advanced security features, such as protections against device drivers and kernel exploits.
If you buy a new device in the future, it will almost certainly come with 64-bit Windows. If you use a lot of memory-intensive applications and have a 32-bit PC that can be upgraded, you should consider making the switch. Even if your system has less than 4GB of RAM, 64-bit Windows’ efficiency and allocation improvements mean you’ll see some benefits.