Guide to Upgrading to 64-bit Windows

By +Rod Bland

If you are running a 32-bit version of windows currently with it's maximum RAM limitation of 3-3.5GB , then upgrading to a 64-bit version can provide an additional performance increase without having to upgrade to completely new hardware. (note, your system must have a maximum RAM capacity higher than 4GB to make upgrading to 64-bit a worthwhile exercise)

Not sure which version of Windows you have? See our guide to identifying your Windows version.

Step 1: Check the maximum RAM upgrade possible in your system

If you haven't already, then follow this guide to identifying the maximum upgrade.


Step 2: Check you have a 64-bit capable CPU (Central Processing Unit)

If your maximum RAM capacity exceeds 4GB, then the next step is to check that your CPU is capable of handling a 64-bit operating system. Most modern computers are capable, but this is how you can be certain.

CPU-Z is a small utility which, among other useful system information, provides information on whether your system CPU is 64-bit capable. Follow these steps to install and run this useful tool:

  1. Download CPU-Z from our website.
  2. Unzip the file to any location.
  3. Locate the unzipped folder and double-click the application file cpuz_x32.exe or just cpuz_x32
  4. Wait for the program window to load (takes up to 30 seconds)

Select the CPU tab, then look at the Instructions heading. If you see EM64T (Intel CPU) or AMD64 (AMD CPU) then your processor is 64-bit capable, and will work with Windows 64-bit versions.

screenshot of cpuz CPU tab window


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