What is the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit computers and why does it matter?
The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer's processor handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows and macOS are able to utilize larger amounts of Random Access Memory (RAM). When downloading and installing certain programs, you may need to know the architecture of an operating system in order to install the correct version.
- Right-click the Start button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
- Select System.
- Under the System header, the System type will be listed as either 32-bit or 64-bit operating system.
The Windows 11 operating system only comes in a 64-bit version.
Most Mac devices purchased in 2007 or later use a 64-bit processor. If you are unable to install 64-bit applications, however, see the following steps to determine if you are using a 32-bit processor.
- From the Menu Bar in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, click the Apple logo and select About This Mac.
- Under the Overview header, you will see the processor name.
Based on the processor name, use the chart below to determine if the operating system is 64 bit or 32 bit:
|32-bit or 64-bit
|Intel Core Solo
|Intel Core Duo
|Intel Core 2 Duo
|Intel Quad-Core Xeon
|Dual-Core Intel Xeon
|Quad-Core Intel Xeon