How to Tell 64 Bit

By Brendan O'Brien

The ability of a computer to handle and process data is somewhat dependent on whether it is a 32- or 64-bit machine. Your ability to download and install some applications and install hardware components will somewhat depend on whether your computer is 32 or 64 bits. It takes a minute or two to find this information.

Windows 7

Step 1

Close all applications on your computer.

Step 2

Click your "Start" button in the bottom left corner of your desktop.

Step 3

Scroll up and right click "Computer." Scroll down and hit "Properties."

Step 4

View the system type information that appears which will indicate whether you are on a 32- or 64-bit machine.

Windows Vista

Step 1

Close all applications on your computer.

Step 2

Click your "Start" button in the bottom left corner of your desktop.

Step 3

Scroll up and click "Control Panel." Hit the "System and Maintenance" icon. Click "System."

Step 4

View the system type information that appears which will indicate whether you are on a 32 or 64-bit machine.

Windows XP

Step 1

Close all applications on your computer.

Step 2

Click your "Start" button in the bottom left corner of your desktop. Click "Run" and type "winmsd.exe" and hit the "OK" button.

Step 3

Select "System Summary." Find your processor information under the "Item" column. If the processor value starts with "x86" then it is 32-bit. If it starts with "ia64" or "AMD64" then it is a 64-it machine.