How to change 32 bits to 64 for the operating system and the nuances of using software with different architectures

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How to change 32 bits to 64 for the operating system and the nuances of using software with different architectures
How to change 32 bits to 64 for the operating system and the nuances of using software with different architectures

As you know, today both operating systems and programs installed in their environment are released using 32 and 64 bit architectures. In this regard, quite often a lot of questions arise about the use of one or another bit depth for OS and applications, since many users do not fully understand the difference between them, and also do not take into account the pros and cons of their use on each particular computer, not to mention many other factors, the main of which is the support of the chosen architecture by the processor. Below it is proposed to consider how to change 32 bits to 64 in terms of the preferred modification of Windows, and along the way, learn some of the nuances of using the corresponding versions of certain types of software.

OS and programs with 32 or 64 bit architecture: what to prefer?

As for the choice in favor of 64 or 32 bit, it is consideredthat both 64-bit operating systems and the applications installed in their environment run much faster using this particular architecture, because, compared to their 32-bit counterparts, they spend less time processing the same amount of data.

If we talk exclusively about the operating systems themselves, it can be noted separately that 32-bit OSes do not see RAM bars in excess of the 4 GB limit and use all the RAM to the maximum. But in 64-bit operating systems, you can easily install programs with a 32-bit capacity (usually the Program Files (x86) directory is used for this), and with a 64-bit architecture in the standard Program Files directory. However, when you try to install both the system and the software you need to work, you immediately need to find out exactly what bit depth the Windows modification you have installed has, and when replacing it with a 64-bit architecture, make sure that the processor meets all the criteria.

How can I find out the bitness of the Windows system and the processor support for the required architecture?

Getting a summary of the system already on your computer can be easily done by using the computer's properties, system information (msinfo32), DirectX dialog (dxdiag), current version detection applet (winver), etc.

Bit system and processor
Bit system and processor

You can find out if the processor supports 64-bit architecture either in the same system information or using special information applications (AIDA64, Speecy, CPU-Z, etc. programs).

Processor bitness in system information
Processor bitness in system information

This is only necessary if you are going to replace an existing 32-bit system with a 64-bit OS.

Can I change the bitness of the installed OS without losing data?

Now about the sore. Most Windows users naturally ask questions about how to change 32 bits to 64, if we are talking solely about the architecture of the operating system itself, while preserving user programs. Alas, for an OS of the same generation without reinstalling using the so-called clean installation, this will not work (unless you create a backup of all programs and files, which does not always help). This means that if you have 32-bit Windows 7 installed, you will not be able to install a 64-bit modification over it. But there is still one loophole. It is quite easy to change the architecture by upgrading the existing modification to a higher one (for example, when switching from Windows 7 or 8 to the tenth version).

Windows OS: how to change 32 bits to 64?

We will not describe the upgrade process, but will focus only on the most important points. How to change 32 bits to 64 for Windows itself when upgrading it?

Windows upgrade
Windows upgrade

The easiest way to do this is to use Microsoft's proprietary Media Creation Tool.

Options for saving programs and files
Options for saving programs and files

After it starts, you need to select a computer update, and on one ofstages to specify that during the installation process you want to save your files and already installed programs. As a rule, there are no particular difficulties here, and applications that previously worked in the environment of the same "seven" behave perfectly in the tenth modification.

Note: The only difficulty may sometimes be that you may need to change the partition style from MBR to GPT. It is better to take care of this in advance by performing the necessary actions, for example, in the AOMEI Partition Assistant program, even without the mandatory formatting of the partition that is being converted.

The nuances of using some programs

How to change 32 bits to 64 for Windows, in general terms, I think it's understandable. As for the software that can be used in 64-bit systems, it is not uncommon to encounter situations when, when installing an application, both the main 64-bit modification and its 32-bit counterpart are integrated into the system. Both installed versions will work without issue. But in a 32-bit OS, a 64-bit program will not install at all.

Another interesting aspect can be seen on the example of the well-known and popular music sequencer FL Studio.

FL Studio 32 and 64 bit versions
FL Studio 32 and 64 bit versions

Even when running the main 32-bit shell in the editor, you can still use additional plugins (VST, RTAS, AAX) with 64-bit architecture. But the operating system must be exclusively 64-bit.


Approaching the final line, you candraw some key conclusions:

  • 64-bit systems and programs work faster when fully compliant with PC hardware requirements;
  • 64-bit OS supports more RAM;
  • it is impossible to change the bit depth of systems of the same rank without reinstallation and support from hardware components;
  • You can only increase the bitness of the OS by upgrading (not applicable to Windows 10).

Note: if you are still thinking about switching to a newer modification of Windows, first make sure that the configuration of your PC or laptop meets at least the minimum system requirements from the OS itself. Please also note that it is not recommended to install the “top ten” on some computers and laptops only with minimal compliance, since it will not work at all as expected (it will constantly slow down, give errors, freeze, etc.).

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