We all know that upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro isn’t free, but Microsoft won’t demand money to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version.
Meanwhile, the upgrade path only allows you move from one version to its equivalent edition on the same structure. This limit implies that if your PC is running a 32-bit version of Windows 8.1, after the upgrade you’ll be left with the 32-bit version of Windows 10. Even if your computer’s processor can accommodate the 64-bit version. The only and best solution is to make a neat installation of the OS and reconfigure all your apps and settings.
In this guide, I’ll talk you through the upgrade process to Windows 10 (x64).
Before You Start
Firstly, ensure that Windows 10 64-bit is compatible with your computer or laptop.
The 64-bit version of Windows can only be installed on PCs with the required hardware. Hence, the first thing you should do is to determine if your PC has a 64-bit processor.
You can obtain this information easily from the Settings app.
- Open the Settings app.
- Select System.
- Select About.
- Under System type, you will see two sets of information: if it says 32-bit operating system, x64-based processor, that means that your Computer is running a 32-bit version of Windows 10 on a 64-bit processor. Meanwhile, if it shows 32-bit operating system, x86-based processor, your PC doesn’t support Windows 10 (64-bit).
Also, although most current computers will run Windows 10, if you have an old PC, you’ll need to ensure the processor has the required features.
The Windows Setup wizard usually checks for hardware compatibility before installation starts. If these features aren’t supported by your processor, Windows 10 won’t install.
To verify if your computer has support for these features, you can use a tool called Coreinfo from Microsoft’s Windows Sysinternals.
Also, you need to ensure that other components in your system, like video and sound cards, are compatible with 64-bit. Because 32-bit versions of the drivers won’t work.
In addition, before switching from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version of Windows, ensure there are 64-bit drivers available.
Make a total backup of your PC
Since you’ll be making significant changes on your PC, you have to make a total backup of your system before upgrading commences.
Also, remember that you’ll need to backup your personal files to an external drive. Because they’ll be deleted during the installation process.
Make a neat install of Windows 10
Because there isn’t a direct path from 32-bit to a 64-bit version of Windows 10, the best solution is to make a neat installation of the OS.
Before making a neat install, it’s better to make sure your copy of Windows 10 is properly activated. You can see this on Settings > Update & security > Activation.
Create an installation media file
Create a Windows 10 installation media file by following these steps.
- Connect an external USB drive with at least 4GB of available space.
- Go to Microsoft’s Windows 10 download page.
- Select the “Download tool now” button and save the Media Creation Tool on Desktop.
- Double-click MediaCrationTool.exe.
- Read the license terms and Accept.
- Choose the Create installation media for another PC option.
- Click Next.
- Uncheck “Use the recommended options for this PC”.
- Ensure you select your language, edition, and the architecture, which is 64-bit (x64).
- Click Next.
- Choose the USB flash drive option.
- Click Next.
- Choose the removable drive from the list.
- Click Next.
- After the installation media is created, close the Media Creation Tool.
Install the 64-bit version of Windows 10
To install, follow these steps.
- Restart your PC with the installation media connected. Then begin the installation of Windows 10.
- On the Windows Setup, select Next.
- Choose Install now.
- Since you already have an activated version of Windows 10, skip the option if you’re asked to enter a product key.
- Accept the licensing agreement and select Next.
- Select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.
- Choose and delete system partitions.
- Select Next and follow the on-screen directions to finish the installation.
After installation, go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. And download the latest updates and drivers.
Finally, you can install any previous app and restore all your personal files from backup. By this time, Your PC should be on the 64-bit version.
Questions? Make use of the comment box.