Q&A: 64-Bit Internet Explorer


From time to time, folks ask a variety of questions about 64bit IE.  I hope to answer the most common questions here.

NEW: Internet Explorer 10+ uses x64 in a fundamentally different way than IE7, IE8, and IE9, the versions for which the post below was written. By default, IE10+'s frame/manager process runs at 64bit, while Desktop Tab processes run in 32bit. Metro-style tab processes run at 64bit. A 64bit JIT was added to improve performance. You can learn more by reading a newer post.

Q: Can I install a 32bit version of IE on a 64bit version of Windows?

A: When you install the 64bit package, the 32bit version of IE will also be installed automatically.  You cannot install only the 32bit version on a 64bit operating system, because Internet Explorer updates OS platform components and must update both the 32bit and 64bit versions.

Q: As an end-user, how can I tell what bitness of IE I'm currently using?

A: To see if you're running the 64-bit version of IE, hit ALT+H to open the "Help" menu, and click "About Internet Explorer."  If you're running the 64bit version, this screen will say "64bit Edition." Alternatively, check out the x64 button add-on.

Q: From the server or from JavaScript, how can I tell what bitness of IE a web visitor is using?

A: The simplest method is to check the user-agent string.  See www.enhanceie.com/ie/webdev.asp#bitness for more info.

Q: Why isn't 64bit IE the default browser?  Why can't I set the 64bit version of IE as the default browser?

A: This was an explicit choice made by the IE team, which may change at some point in the future.  The problem is that users might inadvertently get "stuck" using the 64bit version and not realize it.  This might cause some problems.

Q: Why?  What does not work properly with 64bit IE?

A: Browser addons, including BHOs, Toolbars, and ActiveX controls, must generally be the same bitness as IE itself.  So, if you are running a 64bit version of IE, any site that uses, say, Adobe Flash, isn't going to work until you install the 64bit version of the addon.  Sadly, almost no browser addons are currently available in 64bit versions, although that's somewhat likely to change in the future as 64bit Windows becomes more prevalent. 

There are two 64bit add-ons that I do recommend:

  • The 64bit version of Ralph Hare's most excellent mouse gestures addon
  • My x64 button, which allows you to easily recognize 64bit IE and reopen the current page in 32bit IE

 Q: What options/settings are shared between 32bit and 64bit IE?

Generally speaking, 32bit and 64bit share configuration settings wherever possible.

Shared

  • Homepage and favorites
  • Search providers
  • Web slices
  • Accelerators
  • Context Menu Extensions
  • Security Zone settings
  • Autocomplete information, including passwords
  • Cookies: persistent cookies are shared
  • HTML5 Storage: localStorage is shared

Not Shared

  • Binary add-ons: each only loads add-ons that are of the correct "bitness"
  • Cookies: session cookies are not shared
  • HTML5 Storage: sessionStorage is not shared

Q: Why does 64bit IE9 get faster JavaScript benchmark scores than IE8 (32 or 64) but slower scores than 32bit IE9?

In IE9 there's one other major difference between the 32bit and 64bit versions of IE. IE9 includes a new script interpreter which is much faster than the script interpreter in IE8. However, 32bit IE9 also includes a Just In Time (JIT) script compiler which converts script into machine code before running it. There is no JIT compiler for 64bit IE. So, for benchmarks like SunSpider (and script-heavy sites) 32bit IE9 runs script up to 4 times as fast as 64bit IE9 (which itself runs script around 5x as fast as IE8). So, you could end up paying a significant speed penalty when using 64bit IE9 vs using the default 32bit version.

Telemetry data shows that less than half of one percent of IE browsing sessions are conducted in the 64bit browser.

Note: IE10 Preview shipped a 64bit JavaScript JIT compiler, and the Windows 8 "Metro-style" browser (which will not load browser extensions) runs its tabs in 64bit processes.

Q: So, is there any benefit to using 64bit IE?

A: There are a few advantages to using the 64-bit version:

  • Security: DEP/NX is always on for 64bit processes. (Of course, on Vista SP1+, 32bit IE8+ has DEP/NX enabled by default too.)
  • Security: Memory protections like ASLR are more effective (because the address space is dramatically larger)
  • Security: Most bad guys only bother to write x86 shellcode, which will fail in an x64 process
  • It may crash less. (Because most addons don't load in 64bit IE, it tends to be more reliable.)
  • It may be faster to start up. (Because most addons aren't loaded. You can disable add-ons in 32bit IE if you'd like)

Q: Okay, so why offer 64bit IE at all? 

Because we have to.  🙂 

One thing to keep in mind is that Internet Explorer is basically the combination of a number of platform components, including the networking components (URLMon/WinINET), the rendering components (MSHTML), the script engines (JScript.dll/JScript9.dll, vbscript.dll) and a variety of other pieces that hold it all together. These components must be made available in 64bit versions so that 64bit applications can be built using these components.  Additionally, because Internet Explorer can be launched/created/used as a COM Server, we offer a 64bit version to enable hosting inside 64bit processes.

While we could have done work to make it harder for users to get to 64bit IE (e.g. by not creating a Start menu shortcut), I don't think there's any compelling reason to do so.

One day, 64bit IE might see a lot more use, as 64bit systems take over and 64bit add-ons become available.  Time will tell.

Got another question (or answer) about IEx64?  Let me know!

Comments (90)

  1. Vicky Lee says:

    how do I run the 32-bit version of IE8?  Apparently my HP laptop runs the 64-bit version because I get to all these websites that say I can’t see anything without Adobe Flash 64-bit and there is no such thing yet, and so I should run the 32-bit version of IE8, but I don’t know how to do that. I have the Microsoft automatic update, which I guess upgraded me to the 64-bit.  You say when you download the 64-bit, you automatically get the 32-bit too.  So I guess I have the 32-bit somewhere.  How do I access it and activate it instead of the 64-bit version?  Or should I just download a new 32-bit (and override the 64-bit, or do I have to remove the 64-bit first, and then reinstall the 32-bit?)

  2. @Vicky: No, it is not correct to conclude that you must be running the 64-bit version just because Flash isn’t working.

    "all these websites that say I can’t see anything without Adobe Flash 64-bit"

    I have never seen any website with a message suggesting that you need "Adobe Flash 64-bit" which makes sense, because as you note, no such product currently exists. Can you point me to a site doing that please?

    To see if you’re running the 64-bit version of IE, hit ALT+H to open the "Help" menu, and click "About Internet Explorer."  If you’re running the 64bit version, this screen will say "64bit Edition."  If it doesn’t, you’re using 32bit IE.

    As noted in the post above, you cannot "download the 32bit version"– when you install the 64bit version, you automatically get the 32bit version as well. Users on 64bit computers have no way to download only one or the other.

    If you have a 64bit computer, your start menu will contain two links: "Internet Explorer" and "Internet Explorer (64-bit)".  

  3. MATT says:

    Eric,

    I’ve got a 32 bit IE 8 addon that doesn’t seem to want to work.  From what I’ve read, both on your column and on the web, there should not be a problem with the addon functioning since, by default, it will be loaded into the 32 bit version of IE?  is that correct?

  4. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @MATT: Well, if you were explicitly starting 64bit IE and trying to use a page that used a 32bit addon, it would fail. But 32bit IE is the default, so this isn’t typically a problem.

    What’s the addon? What specifically happens?

  5. Jon says:

    How may I change Outlook Express to stop accessing IE8 (64-bit) when I click on a url in the body of the email and, instead, access the IE8 32 bit program that I use as a default browser?

  6. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Jon: That *should* never happen unless your registry has been corrupted. Inside 32bit IE’s Tools / Internet Options / Programs tab, is the "Make IE the default browser" button available/active?

    FWIW, the Outlook Express client has been replaced with an improved version called Windows Live Mail (see http://download.live.com/wlmail)

  7. Jon says:

    The "Make IE the default browser" button available/active and is checked.  This is a clean direct install of XP x64 on a machine built from scratch.

  8. Jon says:

    To be more specific, the box about warning if the IE8 is not the default browser is available. the button about making it the default browser is viewable, but not available. I assume that it is that way because it’s already been checked before.  There are no other active browsers on the computer.  I did migrate some xp 32 files from an older computer using the migration tool that xp provides.

  9. Jon says:

    So back to the original question.

    How may I change Outlook Express to stop accessing IE8 (64-bit) when I click on a url in the body of the email and, instead, access the IE8 32 bit program that I use as a default browser?

  10. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Jon: Since I don’t know how your computer could possibly get into such a state, I’m afraid I don’t have any suggestion for you, other than to perhaps uninstall and reinstall IE8.

  11. clakat says:

    My OS is Win 7-64. I’ve read all of the posts, and I understand there should be 2 vers (32 & 64)of IE shown in my Start Menu, but I only see the 64bit ver.  I can’t locate the 32bit version.  Where is it? How do I activate?

  12. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    Clakat: If you type iexplore.exe in the run box, or start IE in pretty much any other way, you should find that you’re running the 32 bit version.  The post above shows how to check.

    To see if you’re running the 64-bit version of IE, hit ALT+H to open the "Help" menu, and click "About Internet Explorer."  If you’re running the 64bit version, this screen will say "64bit Edition."  

  13. Mike C says:

    Hello Eric, I have a situation where I am truly preferring IE 8 x64 to be my default browser. I like the idea of no add-ons when surfing the net mainly due to concerns relating to vulnerabilities that exist within some of the add-ons. I could go on a rant about Adobe and Sun, but will refrain 😉

    Anyhow, I’m wondering when support for IE8x64 as default WILL be an option, and please say Vista will not be ignored! I’m not looking for any kind of registry hack, or moving files around and possibly breaking things, BUT IF I HAVE TO …

    Please. This option. Soon? And in Vista too!

  14. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Mike: No, changes of that nature are not typically taken outside of major browser releases.

  15. ieblog says:

    Tom: Because most addons are not available for 64-bit, that means your problem is likely caused by buggy anti-virus or security software.

    You should try running in no add-ons mode explicitly (www.enhanceie.com/ie/troubleshoot.asp#crash) just to be sure, but you should also ensure that you have the latest updates for AV/security software/Windows installed.

  16. Richard says:

    Does anybody know why my 32-bit IE isn’t working on my laptop? My 64-bit is working just fine but my 32-bit isn’t. I did have a Security Tool virus on my laptop a while back but I’m pretty sure I’ve completely removed it. So if anybody has any ideas, i’d appreciate them.

  17. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Richard, the #1 cause for 32bit IE not working when 64bit IE does work is a buggy addon. You should follow the steps at http://www.enhanceie.com/ie/troubleshoot.asp#crash

  18. Commentary on 64-bit Silverlight: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/01/why-microsoft-isnt-working-on-silverlight-64-bit.ars

    On an unrelated note, we recently had a case where a user had installed only a 64bit JVM and wondered why it wasn’t working in IE. As you probably guessed, the problem was that he was running 32bit IE.

  19. Jan says:

    If you look back to the 9/21/09 question by Jon regarding making the 32-bit version the default when a link in an email is clicked, that is the question I came here to ask and was looking forward to the answer.  Alas, as having the 64-bit version be the default is supposed to be impossible, I must be stuck.  Or perhaps someone knows where in the registry I can look to fix the problem?

  20. @Jan: Do you *only* see that problem from Outlook Express, or do you see it if you click START > RUN and type iexplore.exe?

  21. Amy McDaniel says:

    When I typed in Alt+H and selected about internet explorer, it said it was 256 bit.  So is it 32 bit or 64 bit IE?

  22. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Amy: "Cipher Strength: 256bit" means that you’re on Windows Vista or later, which supports HTTPS ciphers as strong as 256bits.

    As noted in this post, the About screen will say "64bit Edition" for 64bit IE, and will not say that for 32bit IE.

  23. Chris says:

    Here is my quandry – CRM 4.0 opens links in IE x64, we have the CRM window show the user a SharePoint doc library on a tab. If the user clicks on a Word doc it opens, but without any toolbars what-so-ever. If I open the doc from IE x64 by browsing to the doc library directly(not using CRM) it will open. Everyone elses CRM opens links in 32 bit IE. I cannot get this users machine to open links in IE 32 bit. I am able to replicate this by setting an env var in PATH to the IE 64 bit. After removing teh PATH var it does not go back to IE 32 bit. WHat was once a working machine now suffers the same fate as my other user. Any ideas on how to get it back? I saw the post about 32 bit being default, but after removing IE 8 and Adding it back there is still no joy.

  24. Chris says:

    Had to reset user’s profile in Windows 7 and uninstall-reinstall CRM. Just re-installing CRM does not fix it. It’s got to be a setting in the user’s profile where CRM or IE use the last program or path.

  25. John says:

    Jump Lists work for everything in 64bit Windows except for IE8 64bit.

    Why is this?

  26. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @John: It’s a pretty arcane explanation:

    The jumplist on the 64-bit IE is always empty since the we cannot register both 32bit and 64bit IE’s AppIDs for the file type handlers in the manifest without having separate protocol handlers for 32 bit and 64 bit.

  27. Gene says:

    Is it possible to have IE 32-bit open in one position (I have multiple monitors) with one home page, and IE 64-bit open in another position with another home page? Right now, clicking on the two different icons (32 & 64) produces the same home page and location.

  28. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Gene: Alas, no, there’s no code that attempts to support that scenario.

    You can obviously create multiple shortcuts that launch IE with different startup pages, but that’s not specific to 32/64bit.

  29. Jim says:

    We have a similar problem with CRM 4.0.    It is opening in IE 64 bit by default and is that is a problem when trying to perform a mail merge.  HELP!

  30. Steve says:

    Is there a way to suppress the x64 icon from showing in the startmenu for all users?  I am trying to deploy Win 7 in a corporate environment and I don't want users able to launch x64 because I expect it will lead to a lot of service desk calls.  All of the normal ways I would have done this with XP dont appear to work in 7.

  31. David says:

    I am running windows 7 pro, when I use IE 32 bit it locks out my desktop icons.  This does not happen with IE 64 bit, but as noted many times 32 bit is the default and I frequently have  to use 32 bit.  How do I make it stop freezing my desktop icons?  Everything runs fine from the start menu, but not the desktop.

  32. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @David: What does "locks out my desktop icons" mean? Do you see any difference if you run 32bit IE with add-ons disabled?

  33. David says:

    "locks out my desktop icons" means that all of the icons on my desktop are frozen.  This happens every time I use IE 32 bit.  Never happens when I use 64 bit.  Once the IE 32 bit is closed none of the icons on the desktop work, you can not click on them and they don't even highlight when you put the cursor on them.  All programs run just fine from the start menu or the taskbar, just not the desktop.  Restarting the system always solves the issue untill IE 32 bit is used again.  I have also noticed since my last post that if I check the task manager after using IE 32 bit there are always 2 processes called "iexplore.exe*32" listed, if I end both of these processes everything works just fine without a restart.  This is an extra step  I would like to avoid.  Thank You for your help and any further assistance is greatly appreciated, I am not a "computer guy" so I am learning alot!

  34. David says:

    AAHAA!!!  After your question about add-ons (which I knew nothing about) I found the settings for them in the tools menu.  Through a somewhat lengthy process of elimination I have concluded that the "AVG security toolbar" was the culprit.  When it is disabled everything seems to work just fine.  I hope this "AVG security toolbar" is not something too important and I am safe leaving it disabled.  Thanks again for your help!

  35. MADev says:

    I have recently encountered a difference between 32 and 64-bit IE8 that puzzles me: I have enabled telnet from a URL (telnet://<ip address> as I had on my WIndows XP and Windows Vista 32-bit systems, but it only works on Windows 7 on the 64-bit version of IE.

    Here are the updates I performed in the registry to enable this:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainFeatureControlFEATURE_DISABLE_TELNET_PROTOCOL]
    "iexplore.exe"=dword:00000000

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTtelnet]
    @=URL:Telnet
    "URL Protocol"=""

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTtelnetDefaultIcon]
    @="C:\WINDOWS\System32\telnet.exe"

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTtelnetshell]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTtelnetshellopen]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTtelnetshellopencommand]
    @="wscript.exe C:\WINDOWS\vbtelnet.vbs %1"

    Here is the contents of the VBS file called:
    Dim ArgObj
    Dim inputHost
    Set ArgObj = WScript.Arguments
    If Wscript.Arguments.Count < 1 Then
       Wscript.Echo "Hostname or IP Address required." 
       WScript.Quit(-1)
    Else
       inputHost = ArgObj(0)
    End If
    Dim cmd2run
    Dim spCommand
    ArrayInputhost=Split(inputhost, "//")
    inputhost=ArrayInputhost(1)
    If right(inputhost,1)="/" then
    inputhost=left(inputhost,Len(inputhost)-1)
    End If
    cmd2run = "telnet.exe " & inputHost
    Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    objShell.Run("%comspec% /k " + cmd2run)

    Any ideas on why this will only work with 64-bit IE8, and even more important, how I could make it work on the 32-bit version?

    Thanks!
    Mike D

  36. MikeD: The problem with your registry script is that it creates the TELNET protocol handler in the 64bit registry only. To create the handler in your 32bit registry, launch the 32bit regedit.exe and create the following key:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassestelnetshellopencommand]

    @="wscript.exe C:\WINDOWS\vbtelnet.vbs %1"

  37. MADev says:

    Thanks Eric. That was an important piece. I added that and got closer to the solution, and it also gave me a clue on one final piece of the puzzle that ulimately fixed it. When I ran this with IE64, it ran perfectly. When I ran it with 32bit, it said "'telnet' is not recognized as an operable program or batch file." As it turns out, IE32 was opening up a 32-bit command prompt, so it would not find the 64-bit telnet.exe. To solve this, I copied telnet.exe from a 32-bit version of Windows Server 2003 to the SysWOW64 subdirectory, and now all is working.

    Thanks again for the quick response and knowledgeable answer! I am impressed with both!

    – Mike D

  38. bjschmitt says:

    Now that there's a 64-bit flash player from Adobe, will Microsoft rethink things and allow use of 64-bit IE as default browser?  Or would I be better using beta IE9?  Is IE9 64-bit?

  39. @bjschmitt: As with IE7 and IE8, IE9 is available in both 32bit and 64bit flavors. As before you cannot set 64bit IE as the default, and there's little reason to do so.

    The release of a manually-installable beta of Flash in 64bit doesn't really change much, because few users will have the beta, and few sites will be updated to properly suggest installing it. Most other controls and add-ons are not 64bit.

    Notably, in IE9 there's one other major difference between the 32bit and 64bit versions of IE. IE9 includes a new script interpreter which is much faster than the script interpreter in IE8. However, 32bit IE also includes a Just In Time  (JIT) script compiler which converts script into machine code before running it. There is no JIT compiler for 64bit IE. So, for benchmarks like SunSpider (and script-heavy sites) 32bit IE9 runs script up to 4 times as fast as 64bit IE9 (which itself runs script around 5x as fast as IE8). So, you could end up paying a significant speed penalty when using 64bit IE9 vs using the default 32bit version..

  40. MikeSic says:

    IE8 64-bit doesn't play nice with our VPN solution.  Users are accidentally using the wrong version of IE.  How do I get rid of the shortcut off of all my corporate machine that are running Windows 7 x64?

  41. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @MikeSic: I'm afraid that's a Windows Explorer question, not an IE question, so I can't really help with that. You probably should talk to your VPN vendor and ask them to support 64bit browsers, considering that their use is likely to become more common over time.

  42. Tom says:

    There is a new (albeit moderately isolated) scenario where having 64-bit IE as the default browser is beneficial. I am currently using the Outlook View Control in a webpage which is called from an external application (SAP NetWeaver Business Client). On Windows 7 x64 with Office 2010 64-bit installed, Outlook View Control is only supported in 64-bit IE. By default, NWBC attempts to open OVC in 32-bit IE, since it is the default browser. This results in an empty control box with no information, as opposed to opening the same webpage in 64-bit IE manually, which works just fine.

    I expect as applications that include IE add-on functionality continue to transition to 64-bit, the case for making use of IE 64-bit will grow as well. For now, I will have to live with avoiding deploying Office 2010 64-bit on any machines, since the desired scenario is currently unsupported.

  43. @TomC: That's an interesting scenario, but I don't think that relying upon the bitness of the default browser is a very robust approach. If you're launching the default browser and expecting it to be Internet Explorer, that's one mistake, but expecting it to be 64bit, that's another mistake. If your client requires a particular browser at a particular bitness to launch, then your client needs to launch that browser&bitness directly.

  44. Corey says:

    We, as IE users, keep being told WHY IE cannot be defaulted to 64Bit, but we are NOT told HOW we CAN do this once we know the pitfalls but want/need to change this.  What are you people at MS so worried about that  we cannot get a straight answer!?!

  45. Ce'Kia says:

    How come when my laptop upgraded to this internet 64–bit , I can't seem to play any video's, nor games. This is very confusing I wan't to know how I can get back to rag internet service, because I was in the middle of cafe world on facebook, and the internet 64-bit wan't allow me to finished the task, it says I need to unpgrade my adobe flash system, but when I tried, it said the internet-64-bit didn't run on it yet, so my quetion is why it do that in the frist place, is it a upgraded thing, if so I doesn;t really like the upgrade, i rather have the old internet service so howdo I get back on 🙂 lol

  46. @Ce'Kia: As explained in the post above, you are simply launching the wrong version of IE. It's not possible to remove 32bit IE even when 64bit IE is installed. So, simply find 32bit IE (usually in C:Program Files (x86)Internet Exploreriexplore.exe) and launch that version instead of the 64bit version.

    @Corey: The reason you're not told "HOW" to do it is that it's both not supported, and there are technical reasons why defaulting to 64bit is *not possible*.

  47. Tacogs says:

    @EricLaw: I would like to hear these technical reasons for not being able to set 64-bit IE as default.

  48. Alvin says:

    My question is that does Microsoft have any plan to introduce Just In Time  (JIT) script compiler in 64 bit IE 9 and when?

  49. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Alvin: IE9 is now complete, and no, there will be no x64 JIT for this version. For IE9, the team focused our energy on the 32bit compiler, since 99.99%+ of browsing sessions are conducted using the 32bit browser.

    As I mentioned in the article above, the x64 version of IE9 still benefits from the improved interpreter and runs script benchmarks at ~500% faster than IE8, even without a JIT.

  50. Alvin says:

    @EricLaw: Thanks, EricLaw for the informative reply. As for now, is it safe to assume that even 64-bit Internet Explorer 10 will not be developed to have its own JIT script compiler? I believe that most, if not all IE users are hoping that 64-bit IE will be slightly faster than 32-bit IE, thus encouraging all IE users to eventually migrate to 64-bit IE.

    Thanks for your information, EricLaw.

  51. @Alvin: I'm not sure why you would jump to those conclusions, as neither (1> the JIT, or 2> the value of "migrating" to 64bit) is anything I've discussed in the context of future IE releases.

  52. Steve Fafel says:

    Eric,

    i was reading this blog post and am hoping you still get these comments.  I am having an issue….i have two 64-bit Windows 7 computers with IE8 (and I've tried IE9) that VBscript won't work when on the 32-bit IE but does work on the 64-bit IE.  I see on the web that others have also faced this situation…but i see no resolution.  Do you know of anything that might cause this?  I am desperate for a solution and anything you could offer would be appreciate.  I will check back on this blog…but i can also be reached at steve.fafel@missionresearch dot com.

    Thank you!

    Steve

  53. @Steve: It sounds like perhaps the VBScript.dll registration is corrupt in your 32bit instance. The DLL may need to be re-registered. What AV program do you have installed? Some AV engines try to inject themselves between IE and its script engines, and that might also be the culprit. Do VBS files work from the Cscript.exe or Wscript.exe programs?

  54. JLaugh says:

    Recently started having the problem listed earlier here where my 32-bit IE will not launch (well – it launches but then the window closes right away).  64-bit version works fine, but not all my programs will work when they need to access online.  when I try to launch the 32-but without add-ons, it still closes right away so I can't really de-bug or run that version without add-ons.  Any ideas how to restore the 32- bit version?

  55. Howie Schoenfeld says:

    I am running IE9.  Pandora only works on the 64 bit option, not the 32 bit.  Why is that?

  56. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Howie: My guess is that you've got a buggy Flash control installed in 32bit and Pandora is using the HTML5 Audio tag in 64bit because Flash is missing. But it's impossible to say without debugging it.

  57. Howie Schoenfeld says:

    Thanks Eric.  I actually installed the flash that Pandora sugested and it still didn't work on the 32 bit IE9.  Besides working on the 64 bit IE9, Pandora also works on Chrome.  I just can't get it to work on the 32 bit IE9. By the way I have not had any problem with any other applications besides Pandora on the 32 bit IE9.  Really strange.

  58. Madu Alikor says:

    Now flash 11 supports 64bit Natively and Silverlight 5 will also support 64bit aint it time for Microsoft to release a 64bit version of the scripting engine and push 64bit browsing?

  59. @Madu: IE10 Preview has shipped a 64-bit JIT engine. As for "pushing" 64-bit browsing, you're overlooking the fact that there are distinct tradeoffs in play.

  60. pneiberger says:

    Ok I understand why IE9 32bit was orginally set as default but this is like 2 & a half years later from my personal observation I noticed that IE9 64bit out performs IE9 32bit on my Win 7 Sp1 Home premium 64bit computer it even out performs Google Chrome must of the time I have lauched them simultainlessly to check it out wasnt the whole reason for making 64bit available that it would run faster? So when is IE10Preview gonna be available I cant wait to be able to run my 64bit computer with IE 64bit as default? Im sure it will really zoom Thanks

  61. @pneiberger: If IE9 x64 is faster than IE9 x86 for you, you need to disable your performance-sapping extensions. In IE9 itself, x86 is faster than x64 in every metric, mostly due to the JIT.

  62. @pneiberger: If IE9 x64 is faster than IE9 x86 for you, you need to disable your performance-sapping extensions. In IE9 itself, x86 is faster than x64 in every metric, mostly due to the JIT.

  63. Gaurav says:

    Can we install 64 bit IE in 32 bit WinXp/Win 7

  64. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    No, 32bit Operating Systems cannot run 64bit programs.

  65. Jasono says:

    Is there a way to suppress the x64 icon from showing in the startmenu for all users?  I am trying to deploy Win 7 in a corporate environment and I don't want users able to launch x64 because I expect it will lead to a lot of service desk calls. This is a repeat question, but I do not see a reply.

  66. @Jasono: There's nothing at all special about this icon. Feel free to remove it any way you like.

  67. mcw says:

    When I add a favorite with it, and when I put the favorite on the desktop and try to use it, it comes up in the regular IE.  

  68. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @mcw: Yes, that's expected. Favorites open in your default browser, which is, by-definition, the 32bit version.

  69. mcw says:

    On my All Programs list, under the Start button, I originally had:  

    Internet Explorer

    Internet Explorer (64-bit)

    I wanted to get Internet Explorer (64-bit) on the Desktop, so I dragged it from the All Programs list to the Desktop (probably should have copied and pasted).

    Now it is not on the All Programs list.  Is there a way to get it back on?  

  70. Mads says:

    I have 2 Win 7 64-bit build servers, where use of the 32 bit IE will cause the desktop to freeze (actually it only appears frozen, as closing the IE will leave 2 iexplore.exe *32 processes running, closing these in Task Manager will unfreeze the desktop and fire buffered mouseclick on desktop icons.). I know this bug has been reported several times and long time ago, but seeing that it isn't addressed, I hope you'll soon make it possible to set IE 64 as default browser, as it's very frustrating to have a product that works, but being unable to make the system use it.

  71. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Mads: Rather than switching to 64bit, your better bet is to uninstall the browser add-on or AV provider that is causing your 32bit version to malfunction.

  72. Thilo says:

    I remove x64 shortcut from start menu and I block x64 IE 9 with AppLocker, to avoid issues (support calls) with the x64 version.

  73. Jack says:

    I need IE32 to be default. When I open a link from another program 64bit is opened by default. How to force to open 32 bit no matter what? Thank you. I guess comenter Jan 29 Jan 2010 6:24 AM has the same problem.

  74. @Jack: There's no supported configuration that results in the behavior you describe. What is the "other program" in question?

  75. Alan MacKenzie says:

    Your initial posts were in 2009. Could you give a quick update re the status of IE 64 bit? Has anything much changed? And thank you by the way; this was great!

  76. DH says:

    What an excellent Q&A!! I'd love it if every developer wrote in such detail about their software.

  77. BrianK says:

    I still have not seen how people are removing the 64bit icon from All Programs. Anyone else mastered this yet?

  78. Anup says:

    Hi Eric We are using SCCM 2007 in our environment, We are using OSD to deploy all client machine they are having WIN 7 Enterprise SP1 64bit

    Recently we have started testing of Internet Explorer 9 , we are using IE9-Windows7-x64-enu /quiet /noupdate/ norestart command to update the Internet explorer. The upgrade are successful.. But we are facing some unique issue, when we see in ALL Programs we see two version of Internet Explorer

    1. Internet Explorer (x64)

    2. Internet Explorer

    by default the second is 32bit. But after the upgrade when we check we could see both internet explorer 9 with 64bit version…(both version are pointing to same exe).

    Before the upgrade we were having Ie8, which were pointing to correct exe's. We have checked it from help menu of internet explorer which shows 32bit and 64bit.

    I would like to know how we can see both version in ALL Programs. means both short cuts woulr point there respective exe's

  79. Mudassar Ali says:

    I am using IE 64 bit and have a site in "Trusted site zone". The user agent is showing "WOW64". Is there any way to overwrite "WOW64" with "Win64" when site is in trusted site zone? Thanks in advance!

    EricLaw [ex-MSFT]: WOW64 means that the tab/content process is running as a 32bit process; Win64 means that it's running as a 64 bit process. Which version of IE / Windows are you using?

  80. Ranjit says:

    Windows 7, 64 bit system on Vaio. Surprisingly the Internet Explorer 8 64 bit is working but the the Internet Explorer 8 32 bit is not connecting to the internet. – it says 'address not valid'  

    EricLaw: The most likely explanation is that you have a 32bit browser extension which is buggy. Is there a change if you start IE in no-addons mode?

  81. Peter Beggs says:

    I have 2 problems that I am looking for help with.

    1- Facebook if I want to upload photos, I can only upload 5 at a time as I get a message that I am not currently using the latest adobe, and I have to download the latest version but even after doing this several times I still get the same message.

    2 I have a Scottish power home vend power pod which has worked fine for  about 2years, about 6 months ago my laptop installed some critical updates, then the power pod wouldn't work. After prerequisite checks, I get informed that my system doesn't support active x. I currently run  ie 11 on windows vista. If I do a system restore to prior the update it works fine and I don't have any problems on the desktop which runs Xp. I have tried adjusting all the settings to do with active x but nothing changes and scottish power won't help as the power pod works fine on the desktop it only happens when critical updates are installed.

  82. thureinmaung@gmail.com says:

    I am using IE 10 on Win8. I set "Enable Enhanced Protected Mode" in Security Setting of IE 10. I confirm that IE is running 64 bit browser by checking….http://www.java.com/…/manual.jsp I Run my applet, which load 64 bit DLLs from system. Receive Error Can't load AMD 64-bit.dll on a IA 32-bit platform Please Advise!

    [EricLaw] I'm not sure I understand your question, but enabling EPM doesn't turn on 64bit for all processes, only those in Protected Mode, and there are many other restrictions in EPM that would likely preclude a Java application from running properly in that mode.

  83. TheVenkster says:

    Hi: I am running the 64-bit version of  WIndows Server 2012 R2 Foundation.

    I do see two versions of IE one under Program FilesInternet Explorer and one under Program Files(x86)Internet Explorer. But no matter which version I run, the Help/About says the same thing; there is no reference to 64-bit. How can I determine if I am running the 64-bit version.

    [EricLaw] Read the IE10 post linked at the top of this one. As mentioned in that post, things are now much more complicated; typically, you will be running a 64bit frame and 32bit tabs.

    I also do not see an option to customize the tool bar (Right mouse clicking on the tool bar).

    [EricLaw] Right-click and tick the "Command bar" box. That's the only customizable bar.

  84. NumbStill says:

    @The Venkster – A hacky (but it works) way is to go to http://whatsmyuseragent.com/ and see if it says "Win64" instead of "WOW64".

  85. Kumar says:

    Is there a way to run only 32 bit instance of IE 10 in windows 2008 server? currently 64bit IE 10 i.e., iexplore.exe is running by default and if I change the TabProcGrowth key value from 0 to numeric, both 32 and 64 bit versions of IE10 are running. I want only 32bit version of IE 10, can you please suggest me a solution?

  86. @Kumar– You should read the post I link to in the very first line of this post. You can't do what you're asking.

  87. About the bitness of IE 11 says:

    Your suggestion of using alt H  to check the bitness version of IE 11 not only fails on …

    [EricLaw] I suggest you re-read the first paragraph.

Skip to main content