How to tell if my Windows computer is 32- or 64-bit?

Very often, when you are trying to download a software product from some web site, you are given a choice of a 32- or a 64-bit version. (Note that most of our products do NOT require such a selection: they detect the "bitness" of Windows and install the appropriate files automatically for you.) Still, if you need to know the flavor of Windows that your computer is running, how to find it out?

The procedure to display such information is different for different versions of Windows. Generally, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Launch File Explorer;
  2. Right-click on the This PC (or Computer) item;
  3. Choose Properties on the shortcut menu.

The resulting screen looks differentlyon different versions of Windows, and it may contain an overwhelming amount of information, but if you keep looking you should find the information wqere are looking for. For example, here is how the screen looks on a Windows 11 computer:

The System Properties window on a Windows 11 computer.

Or, here is the Properties screen on a Windows 8 computer:

The System Properties window on a Windows 8 computer.

What about the earlier versions of Windows? You can do the same steps, only instead of File Explorer launch Windows Explorer (that's how it was called before Windows 8). Or, you could open the Start menu and right-click on the Computer (or My Computer) item there, to display the shortcut menu with the Properties command.

Note that if you have Windows XP, then the System information may not contain the "bitness": if so, you can safely assume your computer is running a 32-bit version of Windows XP.

Now, when some web sites asks you to choose between a 32- or 64-bit download, you will know how to make the right decision.

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