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.
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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 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 technologiesThe 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 storageBoth 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.
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.
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