Have you ever wondered why you have the 32-bit version of Windows 10 installed on your computer while you have all the requirements to install the new version? Maybe you even need to upgrade from the 32-bit to the 64-bit version of Windows since some of your memory is not used (the 32-bit version only supports up to 4Gb of RAM). Before you upgrade, you need to check some things out first.
Check for 64-bit Processor
It is necessary to check whether you have a 64-bit processor, which is the most important requirement for installing a 64-bit system. To do this you have to navigate to the Start menu in Windows 10 (you can also press the “Windows” button on your keyboard) and click Settings.
On the next screen navigate to “About.” There you should see the specifications of your software, along with some specifications related to your hardware. Since you want to upgrade from 32-bit Windows, you will see “32-bit operating system.”
If you see “x64-based processor” on your screen, you are eligible to upgrade. Unfortunately, if “x86-based processor” appears in the window, you can’t upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows. However, since most of the CPUs manufactured in the last seven to eight years are x64-based, you have a big chance of upgrading to the 64-bit version of Windows 10.
Back Up Windows
Since you will be making major changes to your operating system, it is essential to do a full backup of Windows 10. An important note for upgrading from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows is that all your personal files, settings, and applications will be deleted. It would be best to back up all the affected files to an external drive or disk. You can use our previous guide to make a full backup of Windows 10.
Upgrading from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows
After you have finished with the backup process, you can proceed to the installation phase. To upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows, you need to perform a clean install of the operating system. That means you can’t just upgrade Windows 10 and keep your files – you need the “Custom install” option.
However, first you have to create a bootable USB disk which you will use to install the 64-bit version of Microsoft’s operating system. Please kindly check our guide we previously wrote on this subject.
Now that you have the bootable drive with Windows 10 on it, you need to restart your computer with the installation media connected. Normally your system will start booting the USB drive; however, in some cases your computer uses the hard drive to boot instead of the flash drive. In these instances you need to change the bootup setting in BIOS. It is advised to look to your motherboard/computer manual for more instructions.
After your computer boots the USB drive, you need to proceed with the installation. At one point Windows will ask you for your serial key; however, since you previously activated your system, you can skip this option.
At the screen where you have to choose the type of installation, navigate to “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).” After clicking “Next” you have to select all your system partitions (usually Drive 0 Partition 1 and Drive 0 Partition 2) and delete them. Since all your files on those partitions will be permanently deleted, it is a must to back up your system beforehand. If you missed that step, go back and do it – do not proceed with the installation.
After you have clicked “Next”, Windows should proceed with the installation of the 64-bit version.
If you have any difficulty upgrading your system, let us know in the comments section below, and hopefully we’ll be able to help you along.