How to check whether your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit

Identifying whether a computer is running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of an operating system can be helpful when determining software compatibility or hardware requirements.

When considering buying a computer, it’s important to know whether it is a 32-bit or 64-bit system. Identifying whether a computer is running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of an operating system can be helpful when determining software compatibility or hardware requirements.

Here’s how you can check:

Steps for identifying your computer

Here are general steps on how to check if a computer is 32-bit or 64-bit for Windows, Mac, Linux, Harmony and Raspberry Pi :

Windows

  1. Open the Start menu and click on Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on About.
  4. Under the “Device specifications” section, look for “System type”. It will either say 32-bit operating system or 64-bit operating system.

Mac

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left of the screen.
  2. Click on “About This Mac”.
  3. Look for the “Processor” section.
  4. If it says “Intel” and does not have “Core Solo” or “Core Duo” in the name, your Mac has a 64-bit processor. If it says “PowerPC”, your Mac has a 32-bit processor.
    • Alternatively, you can open the Terminal app and type “uname -m” to check if it says x86_64 (64-bit) or i386 (32-bit).

Linux

  1. Open the Terminal app and type “uname -m” to check if it says x86_64 (64-bit) or i386 (32-bit).
  2. Alternatively, you can look up the system information in the settings or system manager of your particular Linux distribution.

Android

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “System”.
  3. Find and tap on “About phone” or “About device”.
  4. Look for the “Android version” or “Software information” section and find the “Kernel version” or “Kernel architecture” field.
  5. The field will indicate if the device is 32-bit or 64-bit.
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Harmony

To check the architecture of a HarmonyOS device, you can

  1. Go to the settings app on your device and look for the “About phone” or “About device” option.
  2. In this menu, you should be able to find information about the device’s hardware, including its architecture. The information may be listed as “CPU architecture” or “Processor type” .

Raspberry Pi

  1. Run the command uname -m in the terminal. This will output the machine hardware name, which will indicate whether the system is running a 32-bit (armv7l) or a 64-bit (aarch64) version of the operating system. Note that if you are running Raspbian OS, it will only be 32-bit.
    • Note that prior to Raspberry Pi 3, all models used 32-bit CPUs. Starting with Raspberry Pi 3, models have been equipped with 64-bit CPUs, however, the operating system may still be 32-bit.

Even if your hardware supports 64-bit computing, you need to have a 64-bit operating system installed to take advantage of it.

Keep in mind that

Please note that some programs are only compatible with one or the other, so it’s important to know which version of your operating system you’re using.

In general, computers with 64-bit processors can run both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and software, while computers with 32-bit processors are limited to 32-bit operating systems and software. When purchasing software or hardware, it’s important to check the compatibility requirements before making a purchase.

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