If you’re running a 32-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you are allowed to upgrade to a 32-bit version of Windows 10. But you can still upgrade to a 64-bit version as long as your hardware supports it. And in this tutorial, we will present to you the steps to confirm whether your computer supports the 64-bit version, and of course we will walk you through the upgrade process to Windows 10 (x64).
- Make sure your PC supports Windows 10 64-bit
The first and foremost thing you need to do is to determine whether your computer offers support for a 64-bit version. Here’s how to do this:
Step 1: Launch the Settings app from your Start menu.
Step 2: Choose System.
Step 3: Choose About.
Step 4: Now, look to the right of System type.
- If you see 32-bit operating system, x64-based processor, it means your PC is running a 32-bit version of Windows 10 but your CPU can run a 64-bit version.
- If you see 32-bit operating system, x86-based processor, it means your PC doesn’t include support for Windows 10 (64-bit).
It’s worth noting that though most current computers will run Windows 10, if you are using an older computer, you will also need to ensure the processor have the required features to run 64-bit versions of Windows 10. There are four essential characteristics required to install Windows 10: PAE, NX, SSE2, and CX16.
You can determine whether your computer supports these features by using a command-line tool named Coreinfo from Microsoft’s Windows Sysinternals.
Step 1: Head to Windows Sysinternals and download Coreinfo.
Step 2: Open the folder containing Coreinfo.exe, right click the zip folder, and choose Extract all.
Step 3: The Coreinfo folder appears. Now choose File > Open command prompt.
Step 4: Enter the command coreinfo and hit Enter.
Step 5: Now, Coreinfo will show up the processor information. Ensure that the four features including PAE, NX, SSE2, and CX16 are available. If they are available, you can switch to Windows 10 (x64).
- Make sure the device drivers are 64-bit compatible
You also make sure that other components in your system like video or sounds cards are compatible with Windows 10 64-bit, since the 32-bit versions of drivers won’t work.
- Make a full backup of your PC
It’s best to make a full backup of your PC before upgrading or else your data will be deleted during the installation process.
- Do the Clean Install of Windows 10
Since there is no upgrade path from the 64-bit version of Windows 10 from the 32-bit one, you are better off doing the clean install of the operating system.
Note that before performing a clean install, your copy of Windows 10 should be properly activated. You can check this by heading to Settings > Update & security > Activation.
4.1. Create Windows 10 installation media
Step 1: Connect a USB drive with at least 4GB of available space.
Step 2: Head to Microsoft’s Windows 10 download page.
Step 3: Hit the Download tool now button and save the Media Creation Tool on your desktop.
Step 4: Double-click the MediaCrationTool.exe file, and then Accept the license terms.
Step 5: Check the box next to Create installation media for another PC.
Step 6: Click Next.
Step 7: Uncheck the box next to Use the recommended options for this PC.
Step 8: Be sure to choose your language, edition, and the architecture. (Here is 64-bit (x64).)
Step 9: Click Next.
Step 10: Check the box next to USB flash drive.
Step 11: Click Next.
Step 12: Choose the removable drive from the list.
Step 13: Click Next.
Step 14: Once done, close the Media Creation Tool.
4.2. Install a 64-bit version of Windows 10
Step 1: Reboot your PC and boot from the installation media.
Step 2: Click Next > Install now.
Step 3: If you’re required to enter a product key, skip the process and continue.
Step 4: Accept the licensing agreement and click Next.
Step 5: Choose the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.
Step 6: Choose and delete system partitions.
Step 7: Click Next and follow the directions on your screen to complete the installation.
Once done, you should head to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update to download the latest updates and drivers.
That’s all about how to upgrade from a 32-bit to 64-bit version of Windows 10. Was this guide useful to you? Let us know via the sections below.