How to decide between 64-bit or 32-bit for Windows

The choice between Windows 10 with 64-bit or 32-bit will depend on the programs and their processor requirements. There are modern Windows versions with 64-bit operating systems which are significantly faster and more popular compared to 32-bit systems. However, 32-bit is still useful when it comes to installing programs.

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What is the difference between Windows 32-bit and 64-bit?

It would be correct to assume that 64-bit does more than 32-bit. The difference between 64-bit and 32-bit refers to each processor’s information processing. The option between 64-bit or 32-bit came about in 2001 with the introduction of the Windows XP edition with 64-bit. Windows XP then began offering Professional x64 support for both versions in 2005. From this point on, it was possible to use 32-bit software with a 64-bit operating system. Using a 64-bit software with 32-bit operating systems is not possible.

Operating systems with 32-bit are significantly older and only offer a memory of 4 GB at most. The addressable memory value is phrased in bit and byte. The 32-bit versions have an addressable memory of exactly 232 bytes. That’s 4,294,967,296 bytes, or 4,096 megabytes (4 GB). On the other hand, a 64-bit system offers a memory of 8 GB, 16 GB, or more. 64-bit versions therefore use their capacities faster and more efficiently. This is also the case with multiple active programs which you can switch between frequently. While 64-bit systems have no upper limit, 32-bit versions can only address 2 GB for each active program.

Which version would be suitable?

The right version for you depends firstly on the hardware. Most programs today offer versions with the corresponding compatibility in 64-bit or 32-bit. Programs can also use older 32-bit programs with 64-bit systems, but this is not possible the other way around as we have already mentioned. It boils down to which Windows version you use and which software you want to use, or rather which kind of processor is required.

You should always use 64-bit versions if your system has a 64-bit architecture. This will ensure your programs run smoothly and quickly even when used intensively and in parallel. It may be a good idea to upgrade rebuild your system from a 32-bit to a 64-bit, for example, if you’re running a 32-bit operating system on hardware whose processor can easily support 64-bit. However, you must also update all hardware drivers when you make this switch, or you may risk some system components becoming useless.


Windows 10 offers both a 32-bit and a 64-bit version, while Windows 11 is now only available as a 64-bit version.

How do I find out which version I have?

Are you planning to install a certain program where you have to choose between the 64-bit and 32-bit version? Or perhaps you’re torn between the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows 10? The first thing you must do is find out which Windows variant you are currently using and whether your hardware is compatible with 64-bit.

Keep reading to find out how to find out your Windows version and see if you’re using Windows 64-bit or 32-bit.

Step 1: Use the Windows shortcut [WIN] + [i] to access the Windows settings and go to “System”.

Step 2: Go to the “Info” option in the “System” menu to display the system information. Under “Device specifications”, you will see information on the 64-bit or 32-bit version and the processor, e.g. “x64-based processor” under the heading “System type”. It is also important to note the installed RAM, which should be at least 8 or 16 GB for 64-bit systems.

What is the future of 32-bit?

The fate of 32-bit architecture seems certain given the focus on 64-bit in both software and hardware. Microsoft only has computers with 64-bit versions for their operating system since the Windows 10 2004 release. There will not be a 32-bit version of Windows 11 in the foreseeable future despite some initial considerations. Manufacturers no longer have to provide both alternatives for their hardware since the 2004 version. However, Windows will continue to provide support for feature and security updates and 32-bit installation media for existing 32-bit versions.

Conclusion: 64-bit or rather 32-bit?

The answer to the question whether 64-bit or 32-bit is better is clear. Anyone who wants to install Windows 11 will soon find out that this operating system no longer actively supports new 32-bit versions and only provides service and updates for the existing versions. You should go for 64-bit for hardware and software, as you can not only make your Windows 11 or Windows 10 faster, but you will also be in a better position in the long run when it comes to software compatibility and your computer’s performance.

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