Microsoft has different versions of Windows 10, you can get 32-bit version or if your hardware supports, you can get the 64-bit version of Windows 10.
What does it mean?
There are 2 types of CPUs, the 32-bit version and 64-bit version. The 64-bit version can perform at a higher speed and can complete task faster. Usually the 64-bit processors come in dual core, quad core, six core, and eight core versions. Multiple cores allow to do more operations per second. But in order to have a 64-bit CPU working at its full potential you will have to use a 64-bit version of Windows. If you use a 32-bit version of Windows with a 64-bit version CPU, you can consider that the half of the CPU potential is not used.
Now if you had a 32-bit version of Windows 7 or 8.1, at the moment when you will upgrade you will get a 32-bit version of Windows 10. What if your computer hardware supports the 64-bit version of Windows?
Before Switching From 32-bit Windows 10 to 64-bit Windows 10
Does Your PC Support 64-bit?
To see if your computer, or more correct the computers CPU is supporting 64-bit you will have to open System from Start menu in Windows.
Then if you see “32-bit operating system, x64-based processor,” it clearly means that you have a 32-bit version of Windows 10 while the computer CPU can support the 64-bit version.
An easier way to check if your CPU supports 64-bit, you can use programs shown in this article.
Does Your CPU Have the Required Features?
Ok, we assume that your CPU supports 64-bit version of Windows. Now you have to know if your CPU is fully compatible and if will work normal with Windows 10.
Microsoft Windows 10 requires PAE, SSE2, and NX. You can find more information about this on the Microsoft technet page here. One more thing, you will also need support for CMPXCHG16b, which unfortunately isn’t found on earlier 64-bit processors.
If your computer CPU will not match these requirements, you will not be able to install the 64-bit version of Windows 10. You can easy check if your computer matches these requirements with the CPU-Z program from this page.
When you will open the CPU-Z program, you will have to see “SSE2”, “EM64T” or “AMD64”, “VT-x” or “VT-d under Instructions if it’s supported.
Install the 64-bit version of Windows 10
Unfortunately there are no options to upgrade from the 32-bit version of Windows 10 to the 64-bit version of Windows 10.
Then only way is to perform a clean install, and the first thing you should do is to backup all your data! This is very important! Especially if you have sensitive data.
To backup your sensitive data you can check on this page the methods you can use to backup your Windows data.
Before switching to 64-bit Windows 10, you will have to make sure that your Windows 10 is activated. Check it by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation.