How to Switch From 64 Bit to 32 Bit

By Richard Bonilla

Your computer's bit version determines how your computer's processing unit handles memory information. With a 64-bit computer, users can run programs that require more RAM. Bit-versions largely differ in the programs they can run, but also in security and memory management features installed on each version. While users can upgrade 32-bit computer, they cannot, however, switch from a 64-bit versions to 32-bit version because of the CPU's configuration. Instead, users can use an emulator to run native 32-bit programs on a 64-bit computer.

Step 1

Check if your computer supports hardware virtualization. To check, download and run Microsoft's Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool to determine if your computer can run 32-bit programs. If the message, "this computer does not have hardware-assisted virtualization" appears, then your computer does not meet the hardware requirements.

Step 2

Download and install Windows XP Mode. From the Windows XP Mode website, select your Windows 7 edition and language. Click "Download and install Windows XP Mode" and select the "Windows XP Mode" option. Once the program finishes downloading, select "Open." From the Windows XP Mode window box, select "Next" and select a location on your hard disk to store XP.

Step 3

Download and install Windows Virtual PC. From the Windows XP Mode website, select your Windows 7 edition and language. Click "Download and install Windows XP Mode" and select "Windows Virtual PC." Once the program finishes downloading, select "Open." Select "Yes" when asked to update windows. Click "I accept the license" and then restart your computer.

Step 4

Set up XP mode. Select "Start" and click "All programs." Click "Windows Virtual PC" and select "Windows XP Mode." Select "I accept the license terms" and then select "Installation folders and credentials." From the credentials menu, you will be asked to select and choose a location to store your files. When asked, enter and create a password and select "Next." From the "Help protect my computer" select if you want automatic updates to protect your PC. Then click "Start setup."

Step 5

Install and use a program. Select "Start" and click "All programs." Click "Windows Virtual PC" and select "Windows XP Mode." Insert your program's installation disc and follow the program's installation instructions. Click "Close" at the top of the XP Mode window. Select "Start" and click "Windows Virtual PC" and select "Windows XP Mode applications" to choose which program to run in 32-bit mode.