Whether you use a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows does not make a difference to most people. It is important to know whether you are running a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows when performing certain tasks on your computer. For example, installing new hardware or updating existing hardware drivers, then you need to know what version of Windows you are using so you can download the correct driver.

In Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, to check whether you are using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows, please click on the Start button, right-click on the Computer menu, and then select Properties. In Windows 8, type Computer at the Start Screen and then click on the Computer search result when it appears.

The System Control Panel will now open. In this screen you will see various information about your computer and Windows. One of the items will be called System Type and will contain the information as to whether or not you are using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. For Windows XP, it will only tell you if its 64-bit and it will be shown in the System area under the operating system name. If its a 32-bit version of XP it will not give a bit type at all.

If you are using a 32-bit version of Windows the System Type information will state 32-bit Operating System as shown below.