Mozilla Firefox has been one of the most popular web browsers since ever. But you may or may not have noticed that it was only offered as a 32-Bit application and not as a 64-bit application. But in December 2015, the Mozilla Engineers presented a 64-bit variant. So, if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows, it would be better to upgrade and take benefits of all its features. Most of the Windows laptops and PCs come preloaded with 64-bit Windows and Hardware, we have discussed in this post why it would be better to use Firefox 64-bit variant. But before we do that, let’s take a quick look at what is 32-bit and 64-bit?
What is the difference between 32-Bit and 64-Bit
32-Bit and 64-Bit are the terms basically related to your computer’s processor. The 64-Bit processors can access a larger heap of memory and perform operations at a faster speed. They can perform a number of operations at a given time and also comes in multi cores. But the most important difference is the maximum amount of RAM supported. The 32-Bit processors can only accommodate a RAM of up to 4 GBs whereas a 64-Bit processor can go beyond it. More memory means more opened applications at a time, faster loading speed and the ability to run memory intensive applications. You can check if your computer is 32-Bit or 64-Bit by right clicking ‘This PC’ icon and then selecting ‘Properties’.
Why should you upgrade Firefox from 32-Bit to 64-Bit
If you happen to use a 64-Bit processor and a RAM greater than 4 GB, then upgrading your browser will give you a performance boost. If you are on a 32-Bit system or with a RAM lesser than 4 GB, then you should not consider upgrading. We usually have a lot of tabs opened on our computer and this makes our browser a memory intensive application. So, more amount of memory will result in faster operation of your computer.
Since 64 Bit applications have a larger pointer size, they tend to use more memory on your computer. But on the other side, they open access to vast amounts of RAM available as well. So, in a nutshell, upgrading to the 64-Bit variant can optimize performance and improve multitasking and you can literally have 100s of tabs opened in your browser window.
There are a few missing features and parts, but developers are working on them and the 64-Bit variant will be equivalent its 32-Bit counterpart very soon.
How to switch to Firefox 64 bit
Upgrading your browser is very simple, all you need to do is head over to Firefox’s download page and download the latest Firefox 64-Bit standalone installer setup. You can install it like any other application and start using it directly.
If you are already using a 32-Bit version, then you need to install the 64-Bit variant first, before uninstalling the 32-Bit one. This way you can preserve your bookmarks and settings.
There are some additional instructions for Microsoft Office Outlook users. Please change your default browser to Edge or Internet Explorer before the upgrade process to avoid the error with Hyperlinks. You can switch it back to Firefox when you are done with the upgrade.
From Firefox 56 onwards, you will be upgraded to 64-Bit variant automatically if your computer is eligible. The installer also will prioritize installation of the 64-Bit variant to have more people using the newer variant.
What about you? Have you already switched to Firefox 64-Bit or are you still usig Firefox 32-Bit on your 64-Bit system?