Apr 29, 2014

How to run 32-bit Windows programs on 64-Bit Windows?

Will Windows 7 64-bit version run all 32-bit Windows software or are there any steps I have to take to make it do so?

32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions

"Most programs designed for the 32-bit version of Windows will work on the 64-bit version of Windows. Notable exceptions are many antivirus programs.

Device drivers designed for the 32-bit version of Windows don't work on computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. If you're trying to install a printer or other device that only has 32-bit drivers available, it won't work correctly on a 64-bit version of Windows. To learn how to check for drivers, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't working properly or go to the device manufacturer's website. You can also get information about drivers by going to the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor webpage."

The vast majority of software designed for 32-bit Windows will run fine on 64-bit Windows. Some older Windows software came with a 16-bit installer and there you could have some issues, but you are pretty unlikely to run into that. If you do run into an issue running 32-bit software, you could virtualize 32-bit Windows.

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