The two major editions of Windows 8, Windows 8 (standard) and Windows 8 Pro, can each come in either 64-bit or 32-bit format. Knowing which type of Windows 8 you have is important so you choose the correct drivers and software for your operating system.
For example, if you have the 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro installed and need to update the drivers for a piece of hardware, like your video card, you must download and install the drivers labeled "64-bit" by the manufacturer. You can not install 32-bit drivers on a 64-bit version of Windows 8, nor vice versa.
Fortunately, it's extremely easy to determine if the copy of Windows 8 you have installed is 32-bit or 64-bit.
Not Using Windows 8? See Am I Running a 32-bit or 64-bit Version of Windows? for instructions for your version of Windows.
Time Required: Determining if you have a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro installed should only take a minute or two.
Applies To: This procedure applies equally to all editions of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
Open the Windows 8 Control Panel.
Tip: You can check your Windows 8 system type much faster from the Power User Menu but it's probably speedier that way only if you're using a keyboard or mouse. With that menu open, click or touch on System and then skip to Step 4.
- Touch or click on System and Security within Control Panel.
Note: You won't see a System and Security link in Control Panel if your view is set to either Large icons or Small icons. If so, find System and touch or click on it, then skip to Step 4.
- With the System and Security window now open, click or touch System.
- With the System applet now open, titled View basic information about your computer, find the System area, located under the large Windows 8 logo.
The System type will say either 64-bit Operating System or 32-bit Operating System.
Note: The second bit of information, either x64-based processor or x86-based processor, indicates the hardware architecture. It is possible to install a 32-bit edition of Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro on either an x86 or x64 based system, but a 64-bit edition can only be installed on x64 hardware.