How to Find Out How Many Bits Your OS Is

A processor can be 32-bit or 64-bit depending on how the information is handled internally. An operating system can also be 32-bit or 64-bit depending on if it can use the 64-bit part of the processor. A 64-bit operating system can manage more RAM memory. In order to install a 64-bit operating system, you need a 64-bit processor. But a 32-bit operating system can be installed on a 32 or a 64-bit processor. OS X is the only consumer 64-bit operating system that does not have a 32-bit equivalent. Both Linux and Windows can be either 32-bit or 64-bit.

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Windows

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Go to the lower-left corner and click on the “Start” menu. Go to “Control Panel."

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In the new window, scroll down and double click the “System” Icon.

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You can see if your operating system is 32 or 64 bit by looking at the “System Type” line in the new window.

Linux

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Open a terminal by clicking on the TV-like icon in your task bar. Both KDE and Gnome have a similar icon.

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In the terminal type ”uname –a” and press “Enter.”

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A string of information is displayed. If you have a 64-bit operating system, you will see x86_64 towards the end of that string. If you have a 32-bit operating system, you will see i386, i486, i586 or i686.