32bit windows users need to ensure

How to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit version of Windows 10

Source: Windows Central

Windows 10 can run on both 32-bit and 64-bit processor architectures. If you have a desktop or laptop running the 32-bit version, you can upgrade to the 64-bit version without acquiring a new license. The only caveat is that there is no in-place upgrade path to make the switch, making a clean installation of Windows 10 the only viable option.

Although either version delivers the same features, when you upgrade to the 64-bit (x64) version, the device will be able to take advantage of large amounts of memory (up to 2TB), instead of 4GB limitation with 32-bit (x86).

The ability to access more memory allows you to run more apps simultaneously without impacting the experience, and you can run a mix of both 64-bit and 32-bit programs. Also, and perhaps more importantly, it’ll help you to improve productivity on memory-intensive tasks. For example, when rendering videos, working with virtual machines, and opening many tabs on your web browser.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to upgrade a device from 32-bit to the 64-bit version of the OS using an existing genuine license.

How to check 64-bit hardware support on Windows 10

If the device is already using the 32-bit version of Windows 10, before you can upgrade, you need to determine if it has a 64-bit processor, 2GB of RAM (minimum), and whether the rest of the parts have support for 64-bit drivers.

Determine 64-bit compatibility using Settings

To check if the processor supports Windows 10 64-bit with the Settings app, use these steps:

Confirm the information reads 32-bit operating system, x64-based processor.

Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, you will determine if your computer is running the Windows 10 32-bit version on a 64-bit processor. However, if it reads 32-bit operating system, x86-based processor, the laptop doesn’t support the 64-bit version of Windows 10.

In the case that the device isn’t capable of running the 64-bit version, you should consider purchasing a newer device that meets the system requirements.

Determine CPU compatibility using Coreinfo

Although newer devices can run virtually any version of Windows 10, you have to make sure that the four essential features are present on the processor if you’re dealing with older hardware.

To confirm the CPU has the required features, you can use the Microsoft Coreinfo command-line tool with these steps:

Click the Download Coreinfo link.

Source: Windows Central

Click the Extract button.

Source: Windows Central

Type the following command in the address bar, and press Enter to open Command Prompt in the folder location.

Source: Windows Central

Type the following command and press Enter:

Search (Ctrl + F keyboard shortcut) for these features:

Source: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, if the output confirms the features, then the processor can support the upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit.

The Windows 10 Setup should be able to detect compatibility issues with the processor automatically, but the «Coreinfo» tool allows you to check these features ahead of time.

Determine drivers compatibility

In addition to determining the processor capabilities, it’s also recommended to check whether other components, such as graphics and sound cards, are compatible with the 64-bit version of Windows 10.

If the device is running Windows 10 32-bit, and the hardware is relatively new, there are likely 64-bit versions of the drivers. You can check your device manufacturer support website to confirm that the components have drivers for the x64 architecture.

How to upgrade 32-bit to 64-bit on Windows 10

When you purchase a new license of Windows 10, you’re entitled to install the 32-bit or 64-bit version. The only caveat is that you can’t perform an in-place upgrade. Instead, you must delete the previous setup and then perform a clean installation to switch architectures.

Create installation media

As part of the architecture upgrade process, you need to use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to create a USB bootable media by connecting a USB flash drive of at least 8GB of space to your device, and then use these steps:

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Under the «Create Windows 10 installation media» section, click the Download tool now button.

Source: Windows Central

Select the Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC option.

Source: Windows Central

Select the 64-bit (x64) option for «Architecture.»

Source: Windows Central

Select the USB flash drive option.

Source: Windows Central

Select the USB flash drive to create the bootable media.

Source: Windows Central

Quick tip: If you don’t see the flash drive in the list, make sure the device is connected and click the Refresh drive list option, and then select the drive.

Once you complete the steps, the tool will proceed to download the installation files, and it’ll create the bootable media compatible for Windows 10 64-bit.

If you don’t have a USB flash drive, you can find many reliable and inexpensive drives (for example, the SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 32GB) on Amazon.

Storage essential

SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60

If you need a flash drive to create a Windows 10 bootable media, the Cruzer Glide CZ60 by SanDisk is a good option. The flash drive offers 32GB of storage and reliable data transfers speed to perform a Windows installation and store files on the go.

Windows 10 32-bit to 64-bit install

Once you’re ready to upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit from 32-bit, before proceeding, you may need to adjust some settings to allow the device to start from a USB flash drive. This requires accessing the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) on the motherboard to change the boot order.

Typically, the process requires pressing one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), ESC, or Delete key as soon as you start the device. However, the instructions can be different depending on the manufacturer, and even per device model. As a result, you’ll have to check your manufacturer’s support website for more specific details.

After accessing the firmware, locate the «Boot» menu, and configure the boot order to start from the USB flash drive, and save the changes.

To switch from the 32-bit to 64-bit version of Windows 10, use these steps:

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that you’ll be making changes to your current setup, which may cause problems and even data loss if you don’t do this correctly. It’s recommended to make a temporary full backup of your PC before proceeding. It’s also a good idea to create a copy of your files to an external drive or OneDrive, as you’ll need to restore them after the upgrade.

On «Windows Setup,» click the Next button.

Source: Windows Central

Click the Install Now button.

Source: Windows Central

Click the I don’t have a product key link to continue (assuming that the device was already properly activated).

Source: Windows Central

Select the edition of Windows 10 (if applicable). This selection must match the edition of the license activates.

Source: Windows Central

Check the I accept the license terms option to continue.

Source: Windows Central

Click the Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced) option.

Source: Windows Central

Select the partition with the current installation of Windows 10 (usually «Drive 0»), and click the Delete button to remove the partition from the hard drive.

Source: Windows Central

Quick tip: If you see multiple partitions on the primary hard drive (Drive 0), select and delete each one. Windows 10 will recreate the required partitions during the installation process automatically. It’s not necessary to remove the partitions on secondary drives.

After you complete the steps, the setup will install the 64-bit version of Windows 10 on your computer.

Once the installation completes, you’ll have to continue with the on-screen directions to finish the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to create a new account, set your preferences, and choose your preferred privacy settings.

It’s also a good idea to check for updates on Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update to make sure that the latest patches and drivers are installed.

Finally, remember to restore your files from backup and reinstall any app you may need, including those designed for the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.

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How to Upgrade 32 Bit to 64 Bit in Win10/8/7 without Data Loss [MiniTool Tips]

By Vera | Follow | Last Updated March 03, 2021

Summary :

Have a need to upgrade Windows to 64 bit from 32 bit in Windows 10/8/7 since your memory is not used? How to upgrade 32 bit to 64 bit? This post shows you some things that you should check out, as well as the way to perform Windows 64 bit upgrade.

Quick Navigation :

Why Upgrade 32 Bit to 64 Bit in Windows 10/8/7

Microsoft offers both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10/8/7. The 32-bit version is also known as the x86 version while the 64-bit version is known as the x64 version.

When installing Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10, you can choose to install 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. But most of you may choose to install the 64-bit version instead of the 32-bit version. If you have installed a 32-bit operating system, you may change it to a 64-bit system.

Why change 32 bit to 64 bit of Windows OS? This is because the 32-bit version is limited to 4GB of RAM (Ramdon Access Memory), which is a small amount these days when PCs usually have 8GB or more. If you installed many applications at the same time, “your computer is low on memory” error message may appear.

If you want to actually use more than 4GB of RAM resources, probably you need a 64-bit version of Windows. With the additional access to memory, you can run more apps simultaneously and improve performance. And the system improves productivity with memory-intensive tasks, such as virtual machines, video editing, Office-working, and web browsing when dealing with a lot of open tabs.

What’s more, 64-CPU may have backward compatibility, allowing it to run 32-bit programs and may also support running 32-bit operating systems. In this aspects, 64-bit version of Windows may have more benefits than 32-bit.

Besides, it’s not surprising that many applications now require a 64-bit operating system due to that limitation. Moreover, you can run x64 and x86 applications on a 64-bit OS, but that is not possible on a 32-bit OS.

How to Convert 32 Bit to 64 Bit Windows 7/8/10 without Data Loss

In the following paragraphs, we will walk you through four steps to upgrade Windows to 64 bit.

Move 1: Make Sure Your Processor Is 64-Bit Capable

To do this work, go to Settings > Systems > About. On the right-hand side of the interface, navigate to the System type entry.

Then, you will see one of the following system type:

To be specific, if you see the second entry, you are in luck and you can move on to the next section to continue Windows 10 64 bit upgrade since your 64-bit Central Processing Unit can run a 64-bit version. But if you see the third entry, you cannot install a 64-bit OS since your CPU doesn’t support 64-bit.

Move 2: Ensure Your PC Hardware Has 64-Bit Drivers Available

In addition, you should check whether other components, for example, video and sound cards, can work properly with a 64-bit version of Windows 10. Simply speaking, 64-bit OS requires 64-bit hardware drivers and the 32-bit drivers won’t work.

Modern hardware should certainly offer 64-bit drivers but some old hardware may no longer support and manufacturers may haven’t offered 64-bit drivers. To check for this, please go to your manufacturer support website to see if 64-bit drivers are available for download.

Move 3: Back up Your PC

Since you are making major changes to your operating system, it is indispensable to make a full backup of Windows 10. When you upgrade 32 bit to 64 bit in Windows 10/8/7, your personal files, settings, and applications will be deleted. And the best thing is to back up all the affected files to your external storage devices or USB drive to avoid data loss.

To back up your important files, you need a free backup program to help you. Which one is worth recommending? MiniTool ShadowMaker, a piece of professional file backup software, will be a good option, coming with many powerful features.

With the help of this freeware, you can create an image file for files & folders, Windows operating system, disk or partition. Besides, it can help you to sync files to other locations for backup. Above all, automatic file backup, differential & incremental backup can be created.

Right now, before you free change 32 bit to 64 bit of Windows 10/8/7, get MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition from the following button to back up your crucial files. Note that this edition only allows you to free use for 30 days. If you want to keep this software all the time, get its Pro Edition.

Step 1: Double-click on this program to open it.

Step 2: Which feature should you use to back up files, Backup or Sync? Both are available. And here, you take the first feature as an example.

What do I need to back up my computer? What files should I back up? Now, get the answers to these two questions in this post.

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In the Backup window, you need to decide which files to back up and where to save the backup image file. Just go to the Source section and choose personal files you want to back up.

Then, go to the Destination section and choose an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or NAS as the storage path.

Step 3: Finally, start the full backup process of your important files by hitting the Back up Now button.

Now, all operations to back up files are told to you. If you are planning to convert 32 bit to 64 bit of Windows 10/8/7 operating system, don’t hesitate to free download this backup software to prevent your data from losing after upgrading to the 64-bit version of Windows.

Right now, the previous three steps are told to you. Reading here, it is time for you to take action to upgrade Windows 10 32 bit to 64 bit. Just go to the next move to follow the corresponding steps for Windows 10 64-bit version upgrade.

Move 4: Upgrade Windows to 64 Bit

How to convert 32 bit to 64 bit Windows 7/8/10? As mentioned above, performing an upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit version of Windows is actually clean install. Now, follow the steps below to make a reinstallation.

Create a Bootable USB Drive

How can you create bootable USB from ISO in Windows 10 for a clean install? This post will show you the Windows 10 USB tool for ISO to USB.

Here, take Windows 10 64 bit upgrade as an example and we will show you the step-by-step instructions. Right now, insert your USB flash drive with at least 4GB of storage space to your device and to create the 64-bit Windows 10 installation media.

Step 1: Open the official web page to download Windows 10 Media CreationTool.

Step 2: Click Download tool now under Create Windows 10 installation media.

Step 3: Double-click on the MediaCreationTool.exe to run this utility and then accept the Microsoft terms.

Step 4: There are two options. Check the option Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC.

Step 5: Please choose language and edition. To upgrade Windows 10 to 64 bit, here please specify the 64-bit (x64) option for 64-bit Architecture.

Step 6: Choose the USB flash drive option so as to create a bootable USB drive. Additionally, you can also check the option ISO file but you need to burn the file to a USB drive or CD/DVD. Here, we recommend the first one.

Step 7: Next, all your drives on your computer will be listed. Just choose the USB flash drive from the list to continue.

Step 8: Then, this tool will start downloading needed files and creating a bootable drive from ISO file that is compatible with Windows 10 64 bit. Wait for the process to be finished.

Install Windows 10 64 Bit from Scratch

How to upgrade Windows 7 32 bit to 64 bit without CD or upgrade Windows 8/10 to 64 bit without disk? Now, restart your computer with the bootable USB drive and then follow these steps:

Step 1: After booting your PC from the USB drive, choose language, time and currency format and keyboard.

Step 2: Click Install now to continue.

Step 3: Your purpose is to upgrade 32 bit to 64 bit for Windows 10, so you should click the I don’t have a product key link (assuming your PC has been already properly activated).

Step 4: Choose the edition of Windows 10 to go on.

Step 5: Accept the license terms. To upgrade Windows 10 32 bit to 64 bit, please choose Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

Step 6: You may ask: how to upgrade 32 bit to 64 bit Windows 7/8/10 without formatting? Actually, it is easy. In the following drive list option page, choose the partition(s) with the current installation of Windows, and click the Delete button instead of formatting operation to remove it from the hard drive.

Step 7: Then, click the unallocated space to continue. Then, the setup will install the 64-bit version of Windows 10 on your computer. Later, you need to complete the Out-of-box experience (OOBE) setup the OS with your preferences by following the on-screen directions.

Bottom Line

Want to upgrade 32 bit to 64 bit? Here is the overview that you should do before the upgrade and how to convert 32 bit to 64 bit Windows 7/8/10. Just follow the above guides to start the upgrade operation.

Remember to leave a comment below or contact [email protected] if you have any different idea or question when you change 32 bit to 64 bit.

Upgrade Windows 10 32 Bit to 64 Bit FAQ


Position: Columnist

Vera is an editor of the MiniTool Team since 2016 who has more than 5 years’ writing experiences in the field of technical articles. Her articles mainly focus on disk & partition management, PC data recovery, video conversion, as well as PC backup & restore, helping users to solve some errors and issues when using their computers. In her spare times, she likes shopping, playing games and reading some articles.


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