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With the availability of the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, 64-bit add-ons may be required. I'll look at what to do when they're not available.

I have a one-and-half year old HP Pavillion dv7 laptop, running Windows 7 Home Premium on a 64-bit processor.More and more sites are requiring the latest Adobe Flash Player, version 10, which is only available for 32-bit processors. Is there any way that the new Flash player can be installed on my Devil's instrument? Will it become available for 64-bit within my lifetime?

To be honest, I have no idea if it'll be available in either of our lifetimes. As I write this, it certainly is not.

These days, my guess is that Adobe is (rightfully) prioritizing improving the security of not only Flash, but of other vulnerable technologies as well. They've suffered from a rash of exploited vulnerabilities in recent months.

I suppose that 64-bit Flash will be available someday. Eventually. Probably.

But it doesn't really matter today.

You can start using the Flash player on your system right now.

I too have a 64-bit system and I run it all the time.

64-bit versus 64-bit

System properties - Right-click on 'Computer' and click Properties

There are three things at play here:

"Run the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer and ... add-ons and extensions that were not yet available in 64-bit form will once again work as well."
  • The fact that your computer has a 64-bit processor is actually somewhat beside the point. Yes, a 64-bit processor is required to run 64-bit applications, but that doesn't imply that you must have 64-bit applications.

  • What matters more is the version of Windows that you're running. It's perfectly acceptable to run the 32-bit version of Windows on your 64-bit processor. In fact, there are some scenarios where it's actually the right thing to do. But if you're already running Windows 64-bit, this is not something that you need to change.

  • Most importantly, you can run 32-bit applications in 64-bit Windows. Most 32-bit applications just work. In fact, I'm willing to bet that you're running a bunch of them right now - not all applications have 64-bit versions and they still just work in Windows 64.

Internet Explorer confuses

Two versions of Internet Explorer on the All Programs menu

On 64-bit versions of Windows, two versions of Internet Explorer are included: a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version.

At this writing, if you run the 64 bit-version, you will probably not be able to run Adobe Flash.

So run the other version.

Run the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer; not only will it work just fine, but you'll find that any add-ons and extensions that were not yet available in 64-bit form will once again work as well.

Including Adobe Flash.

To be honest, I think Microsoft made a mistake by including the 64-bit version at this time. I know of no practical benefit from running it.

Other browsers also just work

As an alternative, you could also download Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome, or any of the other browsers. Almost all of them are still 32-bit, but they run just fine in 64-bit Windows.

I should know - I run FireFox, a 32-bit application, and watch Flash videos all the time.

Advanced: what's what?

If you're running Windows 64-bit version and you're curious as to which applications are 32- or 64-bit, here's a quick way to tell. Grab Process Explorer and make sure that it's displaying the "Image Type" column.

Process Explorer showing Image Type

I think that you'll be surprised at how many 32-bit applications - including some components of Windows itself - are still running in 32-bits. That's not really a problem because most wouldn't derive much benefit from being 64-bit anyway.

Article C4870 - July 9, 2011 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Ken B
July 10, 2011 9:41 AM

What about iTunes? I have a 64-bit computer, and I thought I installed 64-bit iTunes, but Process Explorer tells me it's a 32-bit app. This, even after manually downloading and running the 64-bit iTunes installer from Apple.

No idea really, but if its working - does it matter?

July 11, 2011 4:18 AM

Don't fall for the old chestnut. Just because the wsebsite asks you what version of windows you are running, doesn't necessarily mean you are getting a version of their software specifically for that edition.
Having to download things regularly for different OS's to keep our office PC's running, I have sometimes seen that the XP, Vista and 7 installation programs are actually the same file (just got to via a different path through the menus). This can also be true for 32 / 64 bit applications.

July 12, 2011 12:30 AM

Adobe has a Beta version of 64-bit Flash codenamed "Square". More info available at this Adobe site as well as a download link.

July 12, 2011 9:25 AM

I use a FF 64 bit version that is put together by Binary Turf. When you download it from their website they have a link to also download Adobe Flash Player 64 bit.
Adobe® Flash® Player Installer/Uninstaller 10.3 d162
Yes it works and the 64 bit browser is faster than FF (which is already fast).

July 12, 2011 9:44 AM

Yes i found a 64bit Beta Flash player, its on the adobe site somewhere, seems to work fine, i installed it a few months ago on a previous computer.

July 12, 2011 9:53 AM

I wonder if this is my problem. I cannot get "duty-Free Catalog" to run from Delta's website on my W7 machine. It won't run in IE9, 32 or 64, nor F'fox nor Chrome, but I fired up my XP machine and it ran perfectly. This is why I find computers so frustrating. BTW everything else on Delta's site runs perfectly under W7.

July 12, 2011 1:44 PM

Reminds me of all the hype when the 386 first came out, how it could run 32-bit apps so everyone ran out and paid extra money to replace their 16-bit 286. Except that there were no 32-bit apps to run. Finally, when the 32-bit apps started coming out, the 486 was available.

July 15, 2011 4:30 PM

I also installed the Beta version of 64-bit Flash some time ago, without any apparent problems.

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