Like it or not, Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system is only 64-bit. This means that only PCs with a recent 64-bit processor can run Windows 11. Since Windows 11 32-bit is not available, PC users running any version of Windows 11 32-bit cannot upgrade directly to Windows 11.
Since Windows 11 is only offered in the 64-bit type, many PC users wonder if their favorite 32-bit applications can run on Windows 11.
Can I install 32-bit programs on Windows 11 64-bit?
The answer is yes. Windows 11, although only available in the 64-bit version, supports 32-bit or x86 applications. In fact, Windows 11 supports 32-bit and 64-bit programs.
A 32-bit application can be installed and run on a 64-bit Windows 11 installation without any problems. However, a 64-bit application only supports 64-bit Windows 11 installation. The same thing happened with previous versions of Windows.
Basically, the 64-bit version of Windows 11 supports 32-bit applications. A 64-bit Windows 11 means nothing, but it supports 64-bit processors and has nothing to do with 32-bit applications.
Should you install 32-bit apps on 64-bit Windows 11?
Well, if one of your favorite programs is only available in the 32-bit version, you should be able to install and run it on Windows 11 without any problem. However, if a program is also available in the 64-bit type, it is a good idea to install the 64-bit version of the program on a 64-bit Windows 11 for optimal performance and security. This is because a 32-bit program cannot take full advantage of the 64-bit architecture.
It goes without saying that programs compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 are also compatible with Windows 11.
Check if a program is 32-bit or 64-bit
Now if you’re wondering how to tell if an installed program is 32-bit or 64-bit, it’s easy. For detailed instructions, see How to tell if a program is 32-bit or 64-bit in Windows.
How do you tell if a program is 64-bit even before installing?
A 64-bit program is generally referred to as the 64-bit version. If a program doesn’t mention anything about 64-bit, it’s most likely a 32-bit application.
Most popular programs such as Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Office and Photoshop are available in 64-bit. Visit the developer’s website to see if the program is available in 64-bit.