Ever since Microsoft officially announced the launch date for its upcoming Windows 10 operating system and started allowing users of previous Windows versions to register for the free upgrade, we have been getting tens of emails every day with a variety of questions.
We have already let you know that it’s possible to upgrade to Windows 10 without losing data and keeping most of installed programs. We have also told you that you can perform a clean install of Windows 10 once you successfully upgrade from Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10.
Can I upgrade from 32-bit Windows 7/8.1 to 64-bit Windows 10?
A PC user running Windows 7 wants to know if it’s possible to upgrade from Windows 7 32-bit installation to Windows 10 64-bit. In other words, the user wants to if it’s possible to upgrade from x86 flavor of Windows 7/8.1 to x64 flavor of Windows 10.
The answer is NO. One can’t perform an in-place or direct upgrade from 32-bit Windows 7/Windows 8.1 to 64-bit Windows 10. In simple words, if you want to upgrade to the 64-bit architecture of Windows 10 by upgrading the current 32-bit Windows 7/8.1 installation by keeping installed programs and your data, it’s not possible at all.
However, if you don’t mind performing a clean install of Windows 10 after completing the upgrade, you could upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit. But before that, make sure that your PC’s processor supports 64-bit operating system with the help of a free tool called 64bit Checker.
Workarounds to upgrade from x86 Windows 7/8.1 to x64 Windows 10
According to Microsoft, users will be able to perform a clean install of Windows 10 after the upgrade. If you really want to upgrade from 32-bit Windows 7/8.1 to 64-bit Windows 10 without shelling out a single penny, we recommend you upgrade your existing Windows 7/8.1 32-bit installation to Windows 10 32-bit first.
After upgrading your Windows 7/8.1 installation (x86) to Windows 10 (x86) and activating the copy, download the 64-bit Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, create a bootable USB out of it and then install the 64-bit Windows 10. You don’t need to input a serial key during the installation, as your Windows 10 copy will automatically be activated after completing the installation. Please go through our activating Windows 10 after a clean install article to know how it works and why you don’t need a product key to activate your Windows 10 installation.
The only catch is that you’ll need to install device drivers and programs all over again after the clean install.
Lastly, if you are ready to buy the Windows 10 upgrade copy, you can perform a clean install of Windows 10 64-bit by wiping your current Windows 7/8.1 (x86) installation.
In short, it’s not possible to perform in-place or direct upgrade from Windows 7/8.1 32-bit to Windows 10 64-bit. However, you can go for one of the two workarounds mentioned above to legally upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit. The choice is yours!
Are you planning to upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit?