How to check if a binary file is 32 bit (x86) or 64 bit (x64) on Windows

Come verificare se un file eseguibile EXE è a 32 bit (x86) o a 64 bit (x64)

Yesterday we had the urgent need to check if a rather old executable file that we still use on one of our x64 Win2012 production servers to do some automation tasks was built for an  x86 or x64 machine type. Normally you know that in advance, but the guy who originally built the file was no longer with us and both the file name and the folder wasn't clear about that.

The tool we did use to solve our issue was the great Sigcheck by SysInternals, which is available here for free.

Once downloaded and unpacked, using it is as simple as type the following in the command-prompt:

Which gives the following output:

The latter line shows what we needed: 32-bit for x86 binaries, 64-bit for x64 ones.

In case you cannot download, unpack and/or execute such file, there are a lot of other techniques available to determine it, including looking at the file contents using a text editor/hex-editor: most of them are summarized in the following StackOverflow thread.

That's it for now: happy checking!


About Ryan

IT Project Manager, Web Interface Architect and Lead Developer for many high-traffic web sites & services hosted in Italy and Europe. Since 2010 it's also a lead designer for many App and games for Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile devices for a number of italian companies. Microsoft MVP for Development Technologies since 2018.

View all posts by Ryan

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