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Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or from a 64-bit version of Windows 7 to a 32-bit version of Windows?
Posted by Dwayne Davis on 30 December 2015 12:50 PM

You can use the Upgrade option during Windows 7 installation, which preserves your files, settings, and programs, only if you're currently running a 32-bit version of Windows Vista and you want to upgrade to the 32-bit version of Windows 7. Similarly, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, you can only perform an upgrade to a 64-bit version of Windows 7. For more information, go to Upgrading to Windows 7: frequently asked questions on the Windows website.

If you want to move from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or vice versa, you'll need to back up your files and choose the Custom option during Windows 7 installation. Then, you'll need to restore your files and reinstall your programs. For more information about performing a custom installation, see Installing and reinstalling Windows 7‍.

Notes

  • To install a 64-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 32-bit version of Windows, you'll need to start, or boot, your computer using a 64-bit Windows 7 installation disc or files.

  • If you start your computer using a 64-bit Windows 7 installation disc or files, but your computer isn't capable of running a 64-bit version of Windows, you'll see a Windows Boot Manager error. You'll need to use a 32-bit Windows 7 installation disc or files instead.

  • Windows Easy Transfer can't transfer files from a 64-bit version of Windows to a 32-bit version of Windows. If you're running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista but you plan to install a 32-bit version of Windows 7, you can move your files to an external location manually or use Backup and Restore in Windows Vista. For more information, go to Back up your files and Restore a backup created on a previous version of Windows on the Windows website. (If you're running a 64-bit version of Windows XP, you'll need to move your files to an external location manually.)

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