You should know whether you're running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7 for several reasons, but most importantly so you're sure to install the drivers and software designed to work with your type of operating system.
For example, if you're running Windows 7 64-bit and you want to update the drivers for a device, you'll need to download the 64-bit drivers for that piece of hardware. 32-bit drivers won't work properly in the 64-bit version of Windows 7.
Luckily it's really easy to figure out if your copy of Windows 7 is the 32-bit or 64-bit version.
Click on the Start button and then Control Panel.
Click on the System and Security link.
Note: If you're viewing either the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Just click on the System icon and then proceed to Step 4.
In the System and Security window, click on the System link.
When the System window opens, titled as View basic information about your computer, locate the System area below the oversized Windows logo.
In the System area, look for System type among the other statistics about your computer.
The System type will report either a 32-bit Operating System or a 64-bit Operating System.
Important: There is no 64-bit version of Windows 7 Starter Edition.
Now that you know if you're running Windows 7 32-bit or Windows 7 64-bit, you can be comfortable choosing the correct software and drivers for your computer.
Not a Windows 7 user? See Am I Running a 32-bit or 64-bit Version of Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.