How to tell a 32-bit Windows app from 64-bit

Edward Hudson By: Edward Hudson
2 minute read

Home » How to tell a 32-bit Windows app from 64-bit

Most of the modern computers available in the market today run a 64-bit version of Windows, thus the proliferation of 64-bit applications. Nonetheless, Microsoft still manufactures the 32-bit version of Windows 10, though this is rarely sold to consumers.

The goal is to improve hardware performance with a modern 64-bit architecture. This is especially helpful for hardcore players, as most computer games today require intensive memory capacity. On the other hand, some software applications at present give more priority to the 32-bit version. But how do you tell a 32-bit program from 64-bit?

Task Manager

One way to identify whether a Windows program is 32-bit or 64-bit is to use the Task Manager. Open Task Manager by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Esc or right clicking the Task Bar. This highlights all the 32-bit processes with *32 appended to the image of any 32-bit program.

task_manager_1

Also, you can pull up a dedicated column that displays a 32-bit or 64-bit process right away. Follow these steps:

1. Click More details at the bottom of the Task Manager window in order to view the different tabs.

task_manager

2. Navigate to the Details tab from the Processes tab to see more information about the programs that are running on your PC.

task_manager2

3. Right click on the title row and click select columns.

task_manager_3

4. Click Platform in the selection window and hit OK.

task_manager_5

The Task Manager window now shows what program is 32-bit or 64-bit.

Other methods

While there are other methods to determine whether an application is 32-bit or 64-bit, those are less reliable. For instance, you can check the installation directory, Program Files (x86) or Program Files, but these methods do not give an accurate description. Programs do not necessarily install in the right directory, so you can’t rely on these means.

You can also take a look at the processes compatibility information of the program. In the Task Manager, right click on a process or alternatively an executable file and click Properties in the menu to tell a 32-bit program from 64-bit.

If you know of other means to determine a 32-bit or 64-bit program, leave a comment below.

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