How to Check if Windows XP is 32 or 64 Bit

By Gareth Downes-Powell

Microsoft Windows XP was available in Home and Professional versions, with the Home edition available as 32-bit only. The Professional edition was available as either 32-bit or 64-bit. In order to run the Windows XP Professional 64-bit version, the computer's processor must also be 64-bit, meaning it can process twice as much data in a single operation as a 32-bit processor. This allows data to be processed faster, and more RAM to be addressed, removing the four gigabyte memory limit faced by 32-bit operating systems. To check if your copy of Windows XP is 32-bit or 64-bit you can use the Windows Control Panel.

Step 1

Click on the Windows "Start" button and select "Control Panel" from the Windows "Start" menu.

Step 2

Double-click on the "System" icon to open the system properties dialog box.

Step 3

Click on the "General" tab and look under the "System" section. If the operating system is listed as "Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" or "Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition" the operating system is 64-bit. If the operating system is listed as "Windows XP Professional Version," the operating system is 32-bit.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also run "winmsd.exe" from the Windows "Start" menu, and look under "Processor" in the "System Summary" section. If you see "x86" you have a 32-bit version of Windows, where as "ia64" or "AMD64" indicates a 64-bit version of Windows.
  • A 64-bit processor can run either 32-bit Windows or 64-bit Windows.