How to Find Which Version of Microsoft Windows You Have

By Lynne Pettus

Use Windows Settings to determine which version of Windows your PC is running. You can access information about your PC in several ways in Windows 8.1 depending on whether you are using the Metro or desktop version. In the Metro version -- the one that displays the Start screen -- system information is on the PC Info screen. On the desktop version, the same information is on the System screen. The information includes the Windows version, whether your system is 32 bit or 64 bit, the amount of RAM or memory and other system detail.

Accessing PC Info From the Metro Interface

Step 1

Type “Settings” while on the Start screen to launch the Search function and then select “PC Settings” from the results.

Step 2

Choose “PC and Devices” from among the settings.

Step 3

Select “PC Info” to launch the PC Info screen.

Step 4

Find your Windows version under the Windows section’s Edition line. For example, the pictured PC is running Windows 8.1 Pro. The “PC" section displays the computer’s System type -- 32 bit or 64 bit -- as well as other detail.

Accessing the System Screen Using the Desktop Interface

Step 1

Right-click the Windows icon on the bottom left of your desktop and select "Control Panel."

Step 2

Choose "System and Security" if your Control Panel is set to view by "category," which is the default. If you are instead viewing by icons, select the "System" entry and skip the next step.

Step 3

Select "System" to open the System screen.

Step 4

Find your Windows version under the Windows Edition section. For example, the pictured PC is running Windows 8.1 Pro. The screen displays the same information about your computer as does the PC Info screen in the Metro version, but it provides a link to "Change Settings" where you can customize the computer name as well as other settings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Windows maintains a website that displays information about your specific operating system without you having to find and open your Settings (see Resources).
  • If you are using Windows 7, access information about your system by clicking the "Start" button and then selecting "Control Panel." At that point, the procedure is the same as for the Windows 8.1 desktop version: Choose “System and Security” and then “System.” Alternatively, right-click on “Computer” in Windows Explorer and select “Properties” from the context menu to open the same screen.
  • Even another way to find your Windows version is to search for “winver” in the Search field in Windows 8.1, 8 or 7. Select it from the search results to open an “About Windows” dialogue box that reports your version and build number. This method does not display other information about your operating system.