How to know which version of Windows is installed on your computer? Do you know which version of Windows you have? Although it is usually not necessary to know the exact version number for any version of Windows installed, general information on the version of the operating system in use is very important.
Everyone should know three things about the version of Windows they have installed: the major version of Windows, such as 10, 8, 7, etc.; the edition of that version of Windows, like Pro, Ultimate, etc.; and if that version of Windows is 64 or 32 bit.
If you don’t know which version of Windows you have, you won’t know which software to install, which driver to choose to upgrade – you may not even know what directions to follow to get help!
Please note that the taskbar icons and the Start menu items in these images may not be exactly what you have on your computer. However, the structure and general appearance of each Start button will be the same, as long as a custom Start menu is not installed.
How to find the Windows version with a command
While the images and information below are the best way to determine the version of Windows running, it’s not the only way. There is also a command you can run on your computer that will display a Windows Info screen with the included Windows version.
It is really easy to do this regardless of the version of Windows you are using; the steps are identical.
Simply call up the Run dialog box with the keyboard shortcut WIN + R (hold down the Windows key and then press R once). Once the box is displayed, enter winver (indicates the version of Windows).
You have Windows 10 if you see a Start menu like this when you select the Start button from the desktop. If you right-click on the Start menu, you will see the Power User menu.
The edition of Windows 10 you have installed, as well as the type of system (64-bit or 32-bit), can be found listed in the System applet in the Control Panel.
Windows 10 is the name assigned to Windows version 10.0 and is the latest version of Windows. If you have just received a new computer, there is a 99% chance of having Windows 10 installed. (Maybe closer to 99.9%!)
The Windows version number for Windows 10 is 10.0.
Windows 8 or 8.1
You have Windows 8.1 if you see a Start button at the bottom left of the desktop and by selecting it you access the Start menu.
You have Windows 8 if you don’t see a Start button on your desktop at all.
The Power User menu when you right-click on the Start button in Windows 10, is also available in Windows 8.1 (and the same is true for right-clicking on the corner of the screen in Windows 8).
The edition of Windows 8 or 8.1 you are using, as well as information on whether that version of Windows 8 is 32-bit or 64-bit, are all found in the Control Panel of the system applet.
If you are not sure whether you are using Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, you will also see the information listed in the System applet.
Windows 8.1 is the name assigned to Windows version 6.3 and Windows 8 is Windows version 6.2.
You have Windows 7 if you see a Start menu similar to this when you select the Start button.
The Start buttons and Start menus of Windows 7 and Windows Vista (below) look very similar. The Windows 7 Start button, however, fits completely into the taskbar, unlike that for Windows Vista.
Information on the version of Windows 7 in use, as well as 64-bit or 32-bit information, is all available in the System applet Control Panel.
Windows 7 is the name assigned to Windows version 6.1.
You have Windows Vista if, after clicking the Start button, you see a menu that looks a lot like this.
As you read in the Windows 7 section above, both versions of Windows have similar Start buttons and menus. One way to distinguish them is to look at the button itself: the one in Windows Vista, unlike Windows 7, extends above and below the taskbar.
The information on the edition of Windows Vista in use and on whether the version of Windows Vista is 32 or 64 bit, are all available from the system applet, available in the Control Panel.
Windows Vista is the name assigned to Windows version 6.0.
You have Windows XP if the Start button includes both a Windows logo and the word “Start”. In more recent versions of Windows, as you can see above, this button is just a button (without text).
Another way in which the Windows XP Start button is unique compared to newer versions of Windows is that it is horizontal with a curved edge to the right. The others, as seen above, are either a circle or a square.
Like other versions of Windows, you can find the Windows XP edition and architecture type from the System applet in the Control Panel.
Windows XP is the name assigned to Windows version 5.1.
Unlike the more recent versions of Windows, the 64-bit version of Windows XP has been assigned its own version number: Windows version 5.2.