How to Upgrade to 64 Bit on Windows

By Mickey Walburg

Windows 64-bit operating systems offer users access to more RAM and faster program speeds for software that can use the 64-bit features of the processor. While you can't perform an upgrade from a 32-bit operating system to a 64-bit one in the traditional sense, you can back up the data on your 32-bit system, install a 64-bit operating system over the old one and then reinstall your data.

Things You'll Need

  • Backup media
  • Windows 64-bit installation disc

Step 1

Back up the data on your computer to a hard drive, flash drive or other type of storage media. Be sure to copy over any important files or data that you don't want to lose, since all saved information will be wiped out when you upgrade the operating system.

Step 2

Insert your installation disc into your computer and restart the machine. Use the appropriate key (displayed on the screen when you first boot up the computer) to open the boot menu, and then choose to boot from the disc drive.

Step 3

If you are installing Windows Vista or Windows 7, the process is laid out in a user-friendly GUI, whereas Windows XP's setup screen is a bit more rudimentary. Nonetheless, all three systems employ the same strategy for setting up and installing the operating system. Simply agree to the license terms and conditions, select the hard drive that you want to install the operating system to and enter the serial number for the operating system.

Step 4

Log in to the freshly installed 64-bit operating system, attach your backup media and copy the files back to the computer. Once this is done, you can fully utilize your 64-bit operating system and the performance enhancements that come along with it.

References & Resources