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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

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Running Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader in a 64-bit version of Windows

The 64-bit version of Windows 7 includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer.Q: Is there a way to download Acrobat Flash Player and Acrobat Reader to my 64-bit version of Windows?  If I can’t use those programs on my 64-bit version of Windows, can I change my Windows version to 32-bit?

A: Windows comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Your 64-bit version of Windows can download and run the 32-bit version of Adobe Reader without any problem. Adobe offers Adobe Reader 32-bit program for free on its Web site.

As for Flash, Adobe doesn’t yet make a Flash player for a 64-bit browser. Adobe has really dropped the ball on this one. Perhaps they’ve tired of patching all of its security flaws.

However,  your 64-bit version of Windows comes with both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer. By running the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer on your 64-bit computer, you can still view Flash on the Web.

Both versions of Internet Explorer share the same home page, and Favorites menu. Unless you specifically choose to run the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer usually runs. For example, the 32-bit version runs when you start the browser from any one of the following locations:

  • The Quick Launch toolbar
  • The Desktop
  • The Start menu
  • A link or a file type that’s set up to open with Internet Explorer

The 64-bit version of Internet Explorer runs only when you choose “Internet Explorer (64-bit)” from the Start menu.

Choose About from Internet Explorer's Help menu to see if you're running the program's 32-bit or 64-bit version.

Not sure which version of Internet Explorer you’re running? Then click “About Internet Explorer” from the browser’s Help menu. If you don’t see the words “64-bit” listed (shown to the left), then you’re running the 32-bit version.

As for changing your 64-bit version of Windows to the 32-bit version, that’s another ball of wax.

In short, it’s a huge chore, and you probably wouldn’t be able to harness the full power of your current computer.

The 64-bit version of Windows is the way of the future, and Adobe’s Flash will soon be pushed aside.

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