How to Upgrade Windows 10 From 32 Bit to 64 Bit (For Free)

In this article I will show you how you can upgrade your windows 10 from 32 bit to 64 bit for free.  The process is very simple and your system should run smoother after the upgrade.

Best of all there is no cost to upgrade your Windows 10 to 64 bit, I will show you how you can do this below.

How to Upgrade Windows 10 From 32 Bit to 64 Bit For Free)

Pre Upgrade Checks

Before we perform the upgrade we need to perform a few steps to make sure the system is ready for the upgrade.

Are You Already Running Windows 10 64 Bit?

First of all lets check if you are already running a 64 bit version of windows 10.  To do this

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows+I
  2. click System
  3. Click About
  4. On the right side, look for the System type.
  5. If it shows 64-bit operating system you don’t need to upgrade as you already have 64 bit installed.
    windows 10 64 bit check

Check If Your System Supports 64 Bit

  1. The next thing we need to check is if your system can actually run a 64 bit operating system.  To do this we can run an application to check your system, to do this
  2. Go to https://www.grc.com/securable.htm and click download
  3. Run the application
  4. Above “Maximum Bit Length” it will say 32 or 64.
  5. If it says 32 your machine will not be able to run Windows 10 64 Bit
  6. If it says 64 or higher your system will be able to run Windows 10 64 Bit

windows maxium bit length

Backup The Windows 10 Product Key

Before we reinstall to windows 10 64 bit we need to export the product key so we can re-activate windows after the install.  To do this

  1. Click Start and type in CMD
  2. Left click on “Commend Prompt”
  3. In the black window type in wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
    get your windows 10 product key
  4. This will now show your windows 10 product key.  Make sure to note this down and do not lose it.

Backup Your Data + Applications

When we upgrade to windows 10 64 bit we need to format your machine which will wipe all of your data and any applications you have installed.  There is no way to upgrade from windows 32 bit to 64 bit with out formatting your hard drive.

Backup Your Data and save to an external USB and / or a cloud storage provider like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

I recommend to make a list of all installed applications on your machine and make sure you have any serial numbers of licensed software.

Backup Internet Browsers Data. There are tools which can backup your internet (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox) favourites / passwords / settings.  I recommend you do this as it can be a pain to re-enter all your passwords again.

Download The Windows 10 64 Bit Install Tool

Now we need to download a special tool from microsoft that we will use to create a bootable windows 10 install media, to do this

  1. Download the official microsoft tool by Clicking Here
  2. Once downloaded double click on the “MediaCreationTool.exe” file that was downloaded then on the first screen (Shown Below) select “Create installation media for another PC”
  3. Select the language you want s well as the edition of windows Home / Pro and the architecture 32 bit or 64 bit then click next.
  4. Make sure “USB flash drive” is selected and click next.
  5. Select your USB drive and click next.
  6. The microsoft application will now download the files needed to make the Windows 10 USB Install Drive.  This may take a long time depending on your internet speed.
  7. Your USB drive is now ready, Click on finish then insert the USB stick in to the machine you wish to install windows 10 on and boot to the USB stick.

How to Upgrade Windows 10 From 32 Bit to 64 Bit

To upgrade your Windows 10 from 32 bit to 64 bit follow these steps.

  1. Insert the Windows 10 Install Media in to your computer and reboot your computer
  2. You will need to boot to the USB drive (You might need to go in to your BIOS and change the boot order)
  3. At the windows setup screen select the language you want to install as well as the time format and Keyboard input then click next.
    windows setup
  4. On the next screen click on install now
    windows 10 install
  5. On the license terms window tick the box “I Accept the license Terms” and then click next
    license terms
  6. Click on “custom: install windows only(advanced)”
    install type
  7. We now need to setup the partitions on the disk.  I usually delete all existing partitions (This will wipe all the data from the disk, Make sure you have a backup before doing this step) Then create one partition then click next.
    where to install windows 10
  8. The install of windows 10 will now begin.  This part usually takes between 10 – 30 minutes depending on the speed of your machine,  Expect your computer to restart a few times.
    installing windows 10
  9. When the install has completed it will ask you a few questions on how you would like to setup your machine.
    windows 10 get going
  10. You will be prompted to create a login and password.  Make sure you do not forget these details.  If you do forget your password you can reset it by following the steps in this guide
    windows 10 create an account
  11. Congratulations you are now at the windows 10 desktop
    windows 10 64 bit desktop
  12. We now need to make sure we are running windows 10 64 bit version.
  13. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows+I
  14. click System
  15. Click About
  16. On the right side, look for the System type.
    windows 10 64 bit check

Post Install Tasks

Now we have installed windows 10 there are a few post install tasks we need to do that include.

Activate Windows 10

The first thing we need to do is activate windows 10.  We will need the product key which we extracted before installing windows 10. To activate windows 10

  1. Click Start menu
  2. Open Settings
  3. Click on Update & Security
  4. Click on the tab Activation
  5. Click Change Product key
  6. Enter your Windows 10 Product key and click activate, you will need an internet connection for windows to activate.
  7. If successful you will see the text “Windows is activated”

windows 10 activation

Update Device Drivers

Windows 10 does a good job of installing default device drivers for all your hardware.  It is a good idea to update all the drivers with the latest versions if possible.  To update your device drivers follow these steps.

  1. Open up device manager (Click start, type in “Device Manager” and hit enter) Now expand all drivers one by one (Below I am using the network adaptor as the example.)
  2. Right click on the device and select update driver
    update driver
  3. Now search on the internet for an updated driver and download it
  4. Click on update driver and follow the prompts
  5. Restart your machine after the driver has been updated. Monitor if your machine still has the issue. If your machine still has the System Service Exception error try the next fix.

Install Latest Windows 10 Updates

Installing the latest Windows 10 updates is the most important thing you should do after installing windows 10.  The updates will include bug fixes and security patches, Its important to install these so your computer is not vulnerable to threats.

To install windows updates follow these steps

  1. In the Start Menu, search for windows update, then select Windows Update settings.
  2. Click Check for updates to see if any updates are available. On a newly installed copy of Windows 10,
  3. Wait for the updates to download and prepare.
  4. When prompted, click Restart now to apply the updates.

windows 10 updates

Install Anti Virus Protection

This is another important thing to do after re-installing windows.  I highly recommend you download and install AVG, this is a free anti virus application that you can install on your system and it is highly rated.

Re-Install Applications

Next we will need to re-install any applications we had before the upgrade.  I recommend you try to download and install newer versions of the software if possible as these will include bug fixes and security improvements.

Install Google Drive To Backup Data

With google drive you can store up to 15 gb of data in the cloud for free.  You can download a google drive client which will automatically sync the files in the directory’s you select.  This can be very handy if in the future your computer suffers from a hard-drive failure, this will mean you will not lose the files you have sync’d.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change from 32 bit to 64 bit? You can only upgrade your windows to 64 bit if your hardware supports running 64 bit.  To check if you hardware can support 64 bit operating system we can run an application to check. Go to https://www.grc.com/securable.htm and click download, Run the application, If it says 64 or higher your system will be able to run Windows 10 64 Bit

Is a Windows 10 license key valid for both 32 bit and 64 bit? Yes a windows 10 license key can be used on both windows 10 32 bit and 64 bit.

Can I still upgrade to Windows 10 for free? Yes you can, Microsoft have hidden the link you need to download the install files for this, but it is still available, check out this guide which will show you how to do this.

Is Windows 10 32bit or 64bit? To check if your system is running windows 10 32 bit or 64 bit follow these steps

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows+I
  2. click System
  3. Click About
  4. On the right side, look for the System type.
  5. It will list if you are running 32 bit or 64 bit

Can I upgrade my PC to 64 bit? You can only upgrade your windows to 64 bit if your hardware supports running 64 bit.  To check if you hardware can support 64 bit operating system we can run an application to check. Go to https://www.grc.com/securable.htm and click download, Run the application, If it says 64 or higher your system will be able to run Windows 10 64 Bit

What is the difference between 32bit and 64bit? The more bits your system has, the more data it can process at any one time.  For example 64 bit systems can process 2 x more data at any one time compared to a 32 bit system.

How do I know if my hardware supports 64 bit? You can only upgrade your windows to 64 bit if your hardware supports running 64 bit.  To check if you hardware can support 64 bit operating system we can run an application to check. Go to https://www.grc.com/securable.htm and click download, Run the application, If it says 64 or higher your system will be able to run Windows 10 64 Bit

How do I get my free Windows 10 upgrade?  Microsoft have hidden the link you need to download the install files for the free upgrade to windows 10, but it is still available, check out this guide which will show you how to do this.

Should I install Windows 10 64 bit or 32 bit? If you have a minimum of 4gb of Ram I recommend to always install 64 bit if your computer supports it.  The more bits your system has the more data it can process at any one time which means your computer should run smoother.

Can I upgrade from 32bit to 64bit Windows 10? You can only upgrade your windows to 64 bit if your hardware supports running 64 bit.  To check if you hardware can support 64 bit operating system we can run an application to check. Go to https://www.grc.com/securable.htm and click download, Run the application, If it says 64 or higher your system will be able to run Windows 10 64 Bit

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