Windows 7 - 64 bit and running 32 bit software?

I'm contemplating getting a new laptop with the 64 bit Windows 7 professional.

Can you tell me if I do get the 64 bit, will I still be able to load all of my 32 bit software packages on a Windows 7 64 bit and will they run right with Windows 7 64 bit?

Thanks for any replies.
Answer
Answer
Hello all,

In general most 32-bit applications will work just fine in a 64-biit operating system, but there are some exceptions.  You also need to consider hardware compatibility with a 64-bit operating system.  One easy way to check if your hardware and applications will work would be to check the Windows 7 compatibility center:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/default.aspx

From the compatibility center you can search for your hardware and applications by name and check both 32-bit and 64-bit compatibility.

Additionally, the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor can be used to check your existing system for hardware and application compatibility.  The upgrade advisor scans your system and checks for possible compatibility issues with Windows 7 in general and then offers guidance on how to resolve them.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/downloads/upgrade-advisor

Applications which most commonly have compatibility issues are what are referred to as kernal mode applications and old 16-bit applications.  Examples might include old versions of DOS-based applications, anti-virus applications, old hardware which may not support 64-bit, etc.  Given the very broad ecosystem of hardware and applications, I strongly recommend the use of the compatibility center and upgrade advisor to help you make the determination.

Hope this helps!
Shad Larsen
Shad Larsen (MSFT)

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Last updated April 14, 2020 Views 188,566 Applies to: