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4/1/2013 11:55:09 AM
32-bit vs. 64-bit Microsoft Office
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Facebook Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on Google Plus Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost

Lots of people have been emailing me asking whether or not they should install the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office.

Here's the general rule of thumb:

Unless you ABSOLUTELY NEED the increased capacity of the 64-bit version, then you should DEFINITELY install the 32-bit version of Office.

The 32-bit version is the MOST COMPATIBLE with everything else that is out there. The 64-bit version does not include compatibility with most of the ActiveX controls, 3rd-party add-ins, and ALL of the 32-bit databases that you'll find out there (including MINE).

Chances are, you probably don't NEED 64-bit Office anyway. The main reason for the 64-bit version is to allow file sizes over 2 GB. If your Excel spreadsheets are that big, THEY SHOULD BE IN ACCESS! To make things worse, even 64-bit Access still has the 2 GB file size limit! If you have a single Access database FILE that's larger than 2 GB, you can split it up into multiple tables or upsize to SQL Server (which you probably should with that much data anyway).

Sure, 64-bit is the future... but it's a long way off. If you want to maintain any kind of compatibility with the rest of the world right now, stick with the 32-bit version. Large enterprises that are running a single solution may want to consider 64-bit, but the rest of us should just stick with 32-bit.

Even Microsoft agrees with me: "If users in your organization depend on existing extensions to Office, such as ActiveX controls, third-party add-ins, in-house solutions built on earlier versions of Office, or 32-bit versions of programs that interface directly with Office, we recommend that you install 32-bit Office 2013 (the default installation) on computers that are running both 32-bit and 64-bit supported Windows operating systems."

How to get MY sample databases to work on 64-bit Access:

Now, I personally don't have any 64-bit installations of Office here in my office (pun intended). So all of my databases that I post are 32-bit versions. You will NOT be able to use any of the ACCDE (encrypted) test databases, but if you purchase a seminar or template, when you get the FULL version (ACCDB file) you will be able to create a new blank ACCDB file on your 64-bit machine and then IMPORT all of the objects out of my 32-bit database (tables, queries, forms, etc.). Some of my databases use 32-bit specific controls, like COMDLG32.OCX, but the majority of them should work just fine after you import the objects into a 64-bit database file.

Here's another article about the topic.

Permanent Link
Keywords: 32 bit 64 bit office
Post Reply

32 bit vs 64 bit Microsoft Office Comment from Arabi @ 11/16/2016
i have been having some problems with my 64-bit version because its the one on my machine now my question is that do you allow me also to install 32-bit version as the best solution ?.
secondly how do i open an ACCD file format that came in 32-bit version with 64-bit version ?
please help me .

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Is there a reason you're running 64bit office. Just because your machine is 64bit doesn't mean you need to install 64bit access, i'm sure Rich advises against it.
Show Just This Thread        Post Reply
32 bit vs 64 bit Microsoft Office Comment from Bruce @ 4/3/2013
Access 2010 64 bit on my Sony laptop with an AMD E450 processor loads faster than my Acer laptop with an iCore-3 processor with Access 2010 32 bit. The real acid test would be to test it out on 2 separate computers with the exact same Windows and hardware configuration.
Show Just This Thread        Post Reply
32 bit vs 64 bit Microsoft Office Comment from Bruce @ 4/3/2013
I have the 64-bit version on one of my laptops at home. With the lessons learned from accesslearningzone.com, a user should be able to create databases and do at least 80 percent of the content that Richard lectures on in the Access videos. The 64-bit version does load faster, so it is leveraging the operating system.

Reply from Richard Rost:

Are you sure it's the 64-bit Office loading faster? It's not just a newer, faster laptop with more memory and a faster processor? I'd be curious to see how 32-bit and 64-bit databases perform on IDENTICAL hardware.
Show Just This Thread        Post Reply

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