Differences between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer that are included in the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and in Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

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Article ID: 896457 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

The x64-based versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition include a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Both versions of Internet Explorer are included to increase compatibility with existing programs and Web sites. The 32-bit version of Internet Explorer can host only native 32-bit ActiveX controls and other 32-bit Web page objects. The 64-bit version of Internet Explorer can host only native 64-bit ActiveX controls and other 64-bit Web page objects.

This article describes the differences between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer that are included in the x64-based versions of Windows.

More information

If you experience problems when you use the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, try to view the same Web site by using the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer. If the problem occurs in both versions of Internet Explorer, you must determine whether the problem is caused by a Web object or if the problem is caused by Internet Explorer.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
154036 How to disable active content in Internet Explorer


Both versions of Internet Explorer share the default home page, the Favorites menu, and the Temporary Internet Files folder. By default, the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer runs when you start the browser from any one of the following locations:
  • The Quick Launch toolbar
  • The desktop
  • The Start menu
  • A hyperlink or a file type that is associated with Internet Explorer
To start the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, click Start, and then click Internet Explorer (64-bit). You can also add desktop and Quick Launch icons to start the 64-bit version.

To determine the version of Internet Explorer that you are running, click About Internet Explorer on the Help menu of Internet Explorer. If you are running the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, the About Internet Explorer window includes a 64-bit descriptor label. The 32-bit version of Internet Explorer does not show a bit-level descriptor.

Interopability with existing technologies

The differences between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer can affect toolbar add-ins and Microsoft ActiveX controls. For example, 32-bit toolbar add-ins do not work in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer. These add-ins include the MSN toolbar, the AOL toolbar, the eBay toolbar, and the Google toolbar. You can install 32-bit toolbars in the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer. However, the 32-bit toolbars will not appear in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer.

For example, when you start the Setup program for the 32-bit Google toolbar in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, the Google Setup program closes the 64-bit Internet Explorer window. The Google Setup program opens a new 32-bit Internet Explorer window when setup is completed. The Google toolbar appears in the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer, and the toolbar works correctly. The 32-bit Google toolbar is not installed in the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer.

By design, the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer cannot host 32-bit ActiveX controls. Additionally, the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer cannot host 64-bit ActiveX controls.

Default settings and storage

Both versions of Internet Explorer use the following folders:
  • Temporary Internet Files are stored in the \Documents and Settings\profile\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files folder.
  • The history list is stored in the \Documents and Settings\profile\Local Settings\History folder.
  • The favorites list is stored in the \Documents and Settings\profile\Favorites folder.
Note profile is the folder that contains your account folders.

Additionally, both versions of Internet Explorer use the same default home page, security settings, and pop-up blockers.

You can open a Web page that was saved or copied from either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version of System Monitor in both versions of Internet Explorer.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us

Technical support for Windows x64 editions

Your hardware manufacturer provides technical support and assistance for Microsoft Windows x64 editions. Your hardware manufacturer provides support because a Windows x64 edition was included with your hardware. Your hardware manufacturer might have customized the Windows x64 edition installation with unique components. Unique components might include specific device drivers or might include optional settings to maximize the performance of the hardware. Microsoft will provide reasonable-effort assistance if you need technical help with your Windows x64 edition. However, you might have to contact your manufacturer directly. Your manufacturer is best qualified to support the software that your manufacturer installed on the hardware.

Properties

Article ID: 896457 - Last Review: August 9, 2013 - Revision: 6.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbinterop KB896457

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