How to switch from 32-bit Chrome to 64-bit on Windows

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.

chrome-64bit

Summary
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How to switch from 32-bit Chrome to 64-bit on Windows
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Description
Google has released the 64-bit client of Chrome for Windows. Find out how you can update your version to 64-bit, and how to identify which version you are running.
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Responses to How to switch from 32-bit Chrome to 64-bit on Windows

  1. Frustrated August 27, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    Do not upgrade to Chrome x64 if you are using Apple iTunes x64. This is because this version of iTunes uses 32 bit NPAPI plugin which the x64bit version of Chrome no longer support.

    • Martin Brinkmann August 27, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Interesting, did not know that. Thanks for the warning!

    • ilev August 27, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      I use both iTunes on 64bit PC and Chrome beta 64 bit. The only problem is with QuickTime plug-in which is 32 bit and doesn't install into Chrome, so Chrome doesn't play Quicktime trailers.... Launching iTunes app from Chrome 64 bit is automatic once you select " I have iTunes installed" on the iTunes page.

      p.s Chrome 64 bit installs and replaces 32 bit as a 32 bit app at program files (x86).

      • Frustrated August 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

        I encountered the NPAPI problem with iTunes when I tried Chrome x64 twice when it was in beta and dev releases. Say you wind up going to a page for an App on Apple's website like https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id479202541?mt=8 . In both instances in the past when I clicked on the "View in ITunes" button on that page iTunes should open up. But since iTunes is using NPAPI which Chrome deprecated, you get the page from Apple's website telling you to install iTunes.

        I just wished that one could have various builds of Chrome installed such as stable and betas installed like Firefox rather than having to restore UserData folders if one reverts back to the stable release of Chrome.

      • ilev August 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

        Frustrated

        You haven't read my above post. On that iTunes page to install click on "I have iTunes installed" and that will fix your problem of launching iTunes.

  2. Raphael August 27, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    This is strange as tomorrow (27.08.2014) trying to switch to Stable 64 bits I was not able to spot in About the (64-bit) mention.
    I did several tries and the only way I was able to get it was to install Beta release which ended up with correct 64 bit version.
    I wonder if Google removed it for the time being after bug reports ?

    • Wayfarer August 27, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Same here - just gone through the above process. Simply reinstalls standard verson.

      • MS Anti-Fanboi No.1 August 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

        You sure you downloaded the 64 bit installer?

  3. Tom Hawack August 27, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Any way of finding an off-line Chrome 64-bit installer? I dislike on-line installs, when Google seems fond of it. On their page they even propose to make the not-yet downloaded/installed browser the default one, after having agreed on the TOS. Do they mind if I take the time to breathe?

  4. Dave Collins August 27, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Is there any way to find out whether all of my extensions will work with the 64 bit version?

    Thanks as always for a great article.

    Dave

    • Martin Brinkmann August 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      I don't think that extensions are problematic. The real issue here are plugins only, as several may only be available for 32-bit Chrome.

      • Blue August 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

        Since making the switch months ago I noticed one of my extensions behaving a bit funny. I use a previous version special in page active media downloader to grab active media in webpages. When I was using 32b it worked fine and grabbed anything (except YouTube), from various audio and video media. In 64b it doesn't quite work the way it did. I loved using it on streaming audio sites (Jango.com).

        It used to auto insert iD3 tag information into the saved file name, now it only uses the number file name as saved in Chrome's temp folder. When I use it in 32b (dual boot W7-64b & XP-32b), it works as it did before.

        The current version no longer works on Jango and works poorly on other sites. Meaning it recognizes there is media present but it only grabs the SWF frame instead of the FLV, MP3, MPA, or OGG files that Jango uses. I use a previous version from a CRX file I grabbed from the web store. It still works fine in the 32b version of Chrome, but it works oddly in 64b.

  5. Changus August 27, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    tried installing 64 bit versions 3 times, but when you check in task manager and in the about-section its still the 32bit version. I am 100% sure my system is 64bit, since I have other programs running in 64bit...
    failure just as I am used to expect from google

    • ilev August 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Works flawlessly for me for some months now with 64 bit beta. Installed over previous 32 bit without a hitch.

      Try this :

      If you are already running any version of Chrome 32-bit (or normal Chrome) you should follow the steps below first before you switch to 64-bit:

      Download the web installer for 64-bit
      Uninstall current version of Chrome from your Control Panel > Programs and Features
      Uninstall Flash Player from Programs and Features (if you have it)
      Install Chrome for 64-bit
      Install the 32/64-bit version of Flash Player (if you need it)

    • MS Anti-Fanboi No.1 August 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Are you 100% sure you downloaded the 64 bit installer?

    • Blue August 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      You can't run both stable versions of Chrome from the same o/s unless you use a DEV or Canary version as the 64b in conjunction with 32b stable or vice versa as long as both versions are not the same version as each other.

  6. Doc August 27, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    "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 also run a PortableApps version of Chrome or Chromium, but I don't know when or if a 64-bit build will reach PortableApps.com, and it may not be possible to share a profile between them.

    • Raphael August 27, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      But this is not a question of wanting to run both (32/64) of them in parallel. I was just not able to deploy 64 bit only.
      But reading another article on another site... they are mentioning that Google is distributing it to USA users only... so maybe some geolocalisation blocking is playing a role there... I will try this as with some VPN I should be able to validate this...

      • Martin Brinkmann August 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

        I'm from Germany, and was able to download the 64-bit installer just fine from the link posted in the article.

    • Martin Brinkmann August 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      Right, good point. Portable is always an option.

  7. wirelesscord August 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    "You can do so either by enabling Chrome Sync" - just don't expect _everything_ to be synced. It doesn't even sync all extension settings. Copying and backing up the profile folder is thus recommended.

  8. Raphael August 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    OK guys,

    Don't ask me why but the usual link to get an offline installation package seems broken to get a working 64bits images...
    https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/index.html?system=true&standalone=1&platform=win64

    I went on the site and used the online installer specifying 64bits wanted install and NOW I am running Chrome 64bit. Weird.

  9. Akschith August 28, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    I don't have the say"Ok Google" to start a voice search option in my settings after installing the 64 bit version. Is this just happening to me or is this the case for everyone else who has the 64 bit version installed? I found out that it was still available in the 32 bit version of chrome 37. If what i mentioned seems to be the case, then do you guys have information as to how to get it back or if google is going to fix this; if so please share it with me. I would find it odd for google to not include something they have in the 32 bit version not in the 64 bit version. I think its a great perk in my opinion.

    • donnybravo September 1, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      dude me too i dunno wtf wrong

  10. Taomyn August 28, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Does anyone know the link for the 64bit Enterprise MSI file?

    **update** this looks like it: https://dl.google.com/edgedl/chrome/install/GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise64.msi

  11. Lepas Lokan August 29, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    Martin, I'm using portable Chromium 64-bit 39 along with portable Google Chrome 32-bit 36(PortableApps.com)--I prefer portable when available.
    Is Chromium x64 the same as Google Chrome x64--in terms of speed, stability, and security as mentioned in the G Chrome blog?

    Chromium Portable:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/crupdater/files/Portable/64-bit/

    Oh there are some links I got from AskVG, might be useful (http://www.askvg.com/official-link-to-download-google-chrome-standalone-offline-installer/):
    > 32-bit (x86):

    Download Google Chrome Offline Installer (32-bit) (for single user account)
    http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?standalone=1

    Download Google Chrome Offline Installer (32-bit) (for all user accounts)
    http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?system=true&standalone=1

    > 64-bit (x64):

    Download Google Chrome Offline Installer (64-bit) (for single user account)
    http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?standalone=1&platform=win64

    Download Google Chrome Offline Installer (64-bit) (for all user accounts)
    http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?system=true&standalone=1&platform=win64

    > This MSI installer in Windows operating system and it currently installs the latest Dev Channel build:

    Download Google Chrome MSI Installer for Windows
    http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?msi=true

    Download Google Chrome MSI Installer for Windows (Alternative Link)
    http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/business/browser/admin/

    Thanks for your educating articles, GHacks team!

  12. Dwight Stegall September 5, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    I just noticed in Chrome 64-bit Stable for Windows 8.1 that you no longer have to have the Canary build to load extensions in the Developer Mode that didn't come from the Chrome Web Store. I'm using the Youtube Center extension from the Opera Addons page.

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