How Do I Tell a 32 or 64 Bit on Windows XP Pro?

By Michael Ryan

Determining whether or not your Windows XP Pro computer has a 32- or 64-bit version of Windows XP is helpful if you are considering buying software that is optimized for 64-bit processors, or if you are trying to find the easiest way to upgrade from Windows XP to a newer version, like Windows Vista or Windows 7. For example, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows XP Pro, you cannot upgrade to a 32-bit version of Windows Vista or 7 without reinstalling the operating system.

XP Pro Version via System Properties

Step 1

Open the "Start" menu by clicking on it, and then select "Run."

Step 2

Type "sysdm.cpl" to open the System Properties control panel, and press the "Enter" key or click "OK."

Step 3

Click the "General" tab.

Step 4

Review the operating system information displayed. The 32-bit version of Windows XP Pro is identified as "Windows XP Professional Version YYYY," where "YYYY" is replaced with the version's release year. Windows XP Pro 64-bit is identified as "Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Version YYYY."

Step 5

Click "OK" or "Cancel" to close the detail window once you determine the version of Windows XP Pro used on your computer.

XP Pro Version via System Information

Step 1

Open the "Start" menu and click on "Run."

Step 2

Type "winmsd.exe" in the Run window and press "Enter" or click "OK."

Step 3

Select "System Summary" to view detailed computer information, and then click on "Processor" under the "Item" heading.

Step 4

Take note of the processor type displayed. If the name of the processor starts with x86, the computer is running a 32-bit version of Windows XP Pro. If the name starts with ia64 or AMD64, the computer is running a 64-bit version of Windows XP.

Step 5

Click "OK" to close all of the windows opened after determining the version of Windows XP Pro installed on the computer.