How to switch to 64-bit browsing on Windows

You want to do this because:

  • it’s faster than 32-bit browsing (on Firefox)
  • it allows your browser to address more than 4GB of RAM*
  • it gives you bragging rights**
  • in increases your own techical pride***

Here’s how:

  1. Ensure you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows (sorry, just have to point out the obvious here)
  2. Download and install the 64-bit build of Firefox Nightly for Windows


    If you use Internet Explorer, do nothing: Internet Explorer (64-bit) is already in your Start Menu. Yes, Microsoft has been shipping a native 64 bit browser with the OS for a while now. IMO it’s one of many good things the company doesn’t get proper credit for

    Sorry, Chrome fans: AFAIK there are no 64-bit Chrome builds for Windows.

  3. Download and install the appropriate 64-bit Beta build of Adobe Flash (this will eventually become a stable release)
  4. Download and install both the 32 and 64-bit versions of Java. The reason for doing both is for some reason Oracle’s 64-bit installer doesn’t support 32-bit apps, of which many still exist
  5. Download and install the Silverlight 5 RC Developer Runtime (x64) for Windows (this will eventually become a stable release)

And that’s it: all the web’s major technologies in native 64-bit glory. One minor caveat: it appears Netflix streaming doesn’t support Silverlight RC 5. The screenshot below is from Firefox Nightly, but I got the same result in IE9 x64 and Google Chrome Canary (only 32-bit builds are available for Windows) so I’m guessing the Silverlight version is the problem.



I tweeted @NetflixHelps about the issue, but so far they haven’t responded:


.@Netflixhelps Having Netflix streaming problems with Silverlight 5 RC x64 + #fx9 x64 on Windows 7. Any ideas? Sep 02 02:52:14 via TweetDeck


And that’s it. Now you have your next dinner conversation ;).****


*It’s arguable that if your browser’s taking up 4GB of RAM you’re either doing something seriously wrong, being stupid, or running some really heavy bleeding edge stuff none of us have seen yet. I’m a heavy web surfer and I’ve yet to see a browser use more than 1.3GB, even in the bad ol’ Firefox memory leaks days.

**To who? Are you seriously going to bring this up in conversation?

***Let’s be honest: this is the best reason

****I once brought this up, haha

Author: jdrch

ISTJ, Rice Owl, UF Gator, mechanical engineer. STEM, sports, music, movies, humor. Account mine only & unaffiliated.


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