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How to check if an EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit on Windows 10

Installing desktop apps on Windows 10 is fairly simple. You only need to make sure you install the right binary type of the app. If you’re running 32-bit Windows, the app must also be 32-bit. Likewise, if you’re running 64-bit Windows, the app must be 64-bit as well. Good apps not only provide links to the correct version, they also name the EXE so that you can tell whether it’s 32-bit or 64-bit from just the name. For apps that don’t, you’d be surprised there isn’t a simple way to check if an EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit.

EXE 32-bit or 64-bit

We’re going to show you two simple ways to check if an EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit. Both require that you install an app however the apps are both free and chances are you might already have one of them installed on your system.

SigCheck

Download a command-line utility called SigCheck and extract it. Open Command prompt with ordinary user rights. Use the cd command to go to the extracted folder.

cd "path-to-folder"

Alternatively, navigate to the folder in File Explorer and type CMD in the location bar. Tap enter and Command Prompt will open in that location.

Run the following command.

Syntax

sigcheck.exe "complete-path-to-EXE"

Example

sigcheck.exe "C:\Users\fatiw\Desktop\DaVinci_Resolve_15.3.1_Windows\DaVinci_Resolve_15.3.1_Windows.exe"

In the output that the command returns, look for the MachineType line and it will tell you if the EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit.

7-zip

You’d be surprised but 7-zip can also tell if an EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit. Most people already have the app installed so what you need to do is, open Command prompt and use the cd command to navigate to where 7-zip is installed.

cd "C:\Program Files\7-Zip"

Check the path because you might have installed the app elsewhere.

Once you’re in the 7-zip folder, run the following command.

Syntax

7z l "complete-path-to-exe" | findstr CPU

Example

7z l "C:\Users\fatiw\Desktop\DaVinci_Resolve_15.3.1_Windows\DaVinci_Resolve_15.3.1_Windows.exe" | findstr CPU

The output will return a single line and it will tell you if the EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit.

In some cases, a 32-bit app will run on 64-bit Windows. In fact, there are still many, many apps out there that are only 32-bit and they tend to run fine. That said, you should always try and get an EXE that is built for your Windows architecture. It may help you avoid unpredictable problems down the line.

If you’re about to install Windows 10 but don’t know whether to install the 32-bit or the 64-bit version, you should check what architecture your CPU is to make the decision.

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