Choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office

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This post should help you choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office. There are two versions of Office available to install 32-bit and 64-bit. Based on your requirement, you have a option to install 32 bit or 64 bit version of office. When you install Microsoft office on your computer the 32-bit version of Office is installed by default. Even on 64-bit Windows operating systems when you run the office install, 32-bit office is installed. Microsoft recommends 32-bit version of Office for most users, because it’s more compatible with most other applications. In this post we will try to understand the difference between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office. We will also understand when to use 64 bit office and limitations of 64-bit version office.

When to use 64-bit office and Limitations of the 64-bit version of Office

When Should you use 64-bit version of officeLimitations of 64-bit version of office
You work with extremely large data sets, like enterprise-scale Excel workbooks with complex calculations, many PivotTables, connections to external databases, PowerPivot, PowerMap, or PowerView. The 64-bit version of Office may perform better for you.Solutions using ActiveX controls library, ComCtl controls won’t work. There are many ways for developers to work around this, and provide you with a 64 bit solution.
You work with extremely large pictures, videos, or animations in PowerPoint. The 64-bit version of Office may be better suited to handle these complex slide decks.32-bit third-party ActiveX controls and add-ins won’t work. The vendor would need to create 64-bit versions of these controls.
You work with extremely large Word documents. The 64-bit version of Office may be better suited to handle Word documents with large tables, graphics, or other objects.Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) that contain Declare statements won’t work in the 64-bit version of Office without being updated.
You’re working with files over 2GB in Project, especially if the project has many subprojects.Compiled Access databases, like .MDE and .ACCDE files, won’t work unless they’re specifically written for the 64-bit version of Office.
You want to keep the 64-bit version of Office that you’re already using. The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office programs aren’t compatible, so you can’t install both on the same computer.In SharePoint 2010 or earlier, the datasheet view won’t be available because this view uses an ActiveX control.
You’re developing in-house Office solutions, like add-ins or document-level customizations.

Note – When you run an office setup that has both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version on it, you’ll be installing the 32-bit version of Office by default. When you press the Customize button in Setup, you’ll see the Platform tab if your system can support a 64-bit installation of Office.

Choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office

As mentioned before, Microsoft recommends the 32-bit version of Office for most users, because it’s more compatible with most other applications, especially third-party add-ins. For an add-in to work with the 64-bit version of Office, it needs to be recompiled by the developer specifically for the 64-bit version of Office. In some cases the developer also needs to make some specific changes for 64-bit support or needs to wait for specific libraries, that the add-in relies on, to be recompiled for 64-bit.

 

Can i run 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office on the same computer – No this is not possible. Office doesn’t support running side-by-side installations of 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Office. For example, you can’t install Office 2010 32-bit side-by-side with Office 2013 64-bit. This applies to both Windows Installer (MSI) and Click-to-Run installations of Office 2013. If you try to do this, you’ll receive an error message and be prevented from continuing.