When Google started to push out 64-bit versions of Chrome to its Dev and Canary channels in June for the Windows operating system, it was not clear at first if the company had the intention to offer it permanently to users of the browser.
Dubbed an experiment back then, it complemented the 64-bit versions of Chrome available for Mac and Linux systems.
When the 64-bit version hit the beta channel of the browser, it was clear that a version for the stable channel was on its way as well.
Yesterday, Google released the 64-bit version of Chrome for the stable channel and updated the version to 37 in the process.
According to Google, 64-bit versions offer several advantages over 32-bit versions of the browser including speed and performance, stability, and security performance.
Decoding performance on YouTube improves by about 15% according to Google and stability has improved by the factor two when "handling typical web content".
Existing Chrome users who want to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit can do so the in the following way
Note: You need a 64-bit processor to do so. Use this tool to find out if that is the case if you are uncertain.
- Visit the official Chrome download page and select Windows 64-bit on it. You find the link under the Download Chrome button. Alternatively, visit this link directly and click on Download Chrome.
- Run the setup and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Basically, simply install the 64-bit version of Chrome on the system.
There is no option to upgrade from within Chrome at the time of writing. Chrome 64-bit for Windows will replace the 32-bit version of the browser on the system in the process. The only option to run a 32-bit and 64-bit version of the browser next to each other is to install Chrome Dev or Canary as well. You could run Chrome Stable 32-bit and Dev or Canary 64-bit on the same system.
Data such as bookmarks or extensions will be carried over to the new browser version though.
Tip: If you want to make sure that you don't lose any data,backup the user profile before you make the switch. You can do so either by enabling Chrome Sync, or by opening %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data in Windows Explorer and backing up the directory that opens up manually while Chrome is closed.
Test if you run 32-bit or 64-bit Chrome
The easiest way to verify which version of Chrome you are running is to load chrome://chrome. Here you find listed the version and whether it is a 64-bit edition or not.