Windows Tool: Applications Running In 64-Bit 0r 32-Bit Mode, Services x86 or x86_64
I recently purchased a new Dell laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit which is the first 64-Bit computer I have ever had as my main computer. I have done some work in the past on computers using 64-Bit operating systems but now that I have one there are a lot of questions coming up regarding how applications launch and specifically what mode they are running in. On Windows 7 64-Bit there are two different “Program Files” directories which allow 64-Bit applications to run as well as 32-Bit applications to run. Below I explain how to verify if a Windows service is running in 32-Bit (x86) mode or 64-Bit (x86_64) mode.
Windows 64-Bit (x86_64) Operating Systems Two Program Files Directories:
- C:\Program Files (x86)\
- C:\Program Files\
The x86 Program Files folder allows 32-Bit applications to run on this 64-Bit operating system. Just seeing that an application was installed in one location or the other was not good enough for me. I wanted to be able to verify in real time if a Windows Service or an Application was running in 64-Bit or 32-Bit mode. This was a concern of mine because numerous applications are actually installed in both directories making things even more confusing. It took me a minute to find out how to verify in real time what mode applications were running in but I probably looked over the indicator 10 times before I noticed it! Windows Task Manager will easily tell you in real time if an application or service is running in 64-Bit (x86_64) mode or 32-Bit (x86) mode. Below I show one way to launch Windows Task Manager (taskmgr.exe) as well as the output of the Task Manager Processes list which is where we can verify if applications are running in 32-Bit mode versus applications running in 64-Bit mode.
Launch Windows Task Manager On Windows 7:
To launch Windows Task Manager click the Windows icon in the lower left hand corner of your PC to pop open the Start Menu and click in the “Search programs and files” box. In that box you will want to type “taskmgr” as displayed in the image above and then click the Enter key. This will launch the Windows Task Manager. Now that Task Manager is running click on the Processes tab which is right next to the primary Applications tab. Applications that are running in 32-Bit mode have a *32 to the right of the Image Name in the first column as displayed in the picture below.
Windows Task Manager Displaying Apps Running In 32-Bit & 64-Bit Mode:
As obvious as this is I definitely didn’t notice it right away and I literally search over a dozen different term combinations on Google and was unable to find the answer I was looking for. If it had been much more obvious it might have reached out and smacked me! Anyway now I know that Task Manager will provide me a real time view of the mode, either 32-Bit(x86) or 64-Bit(x86_64), that applications are running as. Below is another view of the Task Manager Processes tab showing a different set of applications.
Task Manager Displaying *32 For Applications Running In 32-Bit Mode:
Just a note this is the only place I have found so far that will display the mode an application is running as in real time. The Task Manager Services tab and the Task Manager Applications tab do not display any information relating to 32-Bit versus 64-Bit modes however you can right click any application or service in either list and select “Go To Process” which will take you directly to the process and answer if the application or service is running in 32-Bit(x86) mode or 64-Bit(x86_64) mode.