Let's settle this from the start: this is not rocket science, it's not even a complicated thing to do. However, it is a question you may have to answer. If you handled computers before, the answer is a couple of clicks away. On the other hand, if you're like my mother, you call your child/friend at 7 a.m. and ask him/her how to do it. This tutorial is, mainly, for everyone who wants to save the cost of a call and do it on their own.
Method 1 - Use the System Section in Control Panel (Windows 7 & Windows 8)
All the specifications of the operating system you are using, are found in the System panel. There are several ways to get there. The first would be to open the Control Panel. There, go to the System and Security section.
Then, click or tap System.
If you are using the Classic View of the Control Panel, System is found directly in the list of available icons. Finding its icon might actually take more than all the other steps put together. Click or tap on it and voila!
In the screenshot above, you see how the System panel looks in Windows 8. Below, you have a screenshot made in Windows 7. Except for a few minor visual differences, they are identical and display the same information.
Another way to open the System panel is to right-click (or press and hold) the Computer icon on your Desktop and click Properties. I know it's easier, that's why I put it last. :)
That takes you straight to the System panel, avoiding the traffic jam in Control Panel.
NOTE: as suggested by one of our readers, the fastest way to get to the System panel is to press the Windows + Pause keys on your keyboard.
Find the Windows Edition & System Type Entries
In the first section of the System panel, named Windows edition, you can view the Windows edition you have installed. The editions displayed are different, depending on which Windows you are using: Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows 8.
In the System section you have information regarding the processor, RAM memory, and, finally, what you're looking for: the system type - 32-bit or 64-bit. In the screenshot above, the computer uses a 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate.
Method 2 - Use the Lock Screen (Windows 7 Only)
If you are interested to learn only the edition of Windows that you are running, simply press CTRL+ALT+Delete on your keyboard. This will take you to the lock screen where you have several options for what to do next. At the bottom, you will see the Windows edition that you are using.
However, there is no information about the type of the operating system: 32-bit or 64-bit. Also, this trick does not apply to Windows 8.
Method 3 - Use the Winver Command (Windows 7 & Windows 8)
You can also use the winver command. Open the run window or the Command Prompt.
Then, type winver and press Enter.
In Windows 7, you can type this command also in the Start Menu search box.
The About Windows window is opened. It displays Microsoft's internal version of the operating system (6.1 for Windows 7, 6.2 for Windows 8).
In the text displayed, it mentions also the Windows edition you are using. Again, there's no information about the operating system type - 32-bit or 64-bit.
That was it. It's simple, but useful. If you happen to know another way of doing it, feel free to tell us. If you are interested in other useful tutorials (and maybe a little more complex than this one), check out the list of articles recommended below.