Oftentimes, it doesn’t really matter which version of Windows you’re running on your computer. But if you are trying to troubleshoot a technical issue or upgrade your system, you need to know.
This tutorial will show you how to identify most versions of Windows in a jiffy and even get specific details like the build number using simple commands.
How to visually identify the version of Windows
The quickest way to find out which version of Windows you’re running is with a visual inspection. After all, the general appearance of each version of Windows is the same as long as you don’t install a custom theme.
Windows XP marked the golden age of Microsoft. Launched on October 25, 2001, it is Microsoft’s longest-running operating system, with twenty-one years in operation.
Some of the notable features of XP include:
- start button: Windows XP has a green Start button with the Windows logo and the word “Start”.
- Taskbar: XP comes with a blue taskbar with shadow effects to create a 3D illusion.
Windows Vista, the successor to Windows XP, was launched on January 30, 2007. Unfortunately, it was colorless and didn’t launch as expected.
You are running Windows Vista if you see the following:
- start button: Look for the glass globe of Windows on the left side of the screen that extends above and below the taskbar.
- glass windows: Vista features a Windows Aero theme that features transparent windows, advanced animations, and dynamic reflections.
Microsoft launched Windows 7 on October 22, 2009, and it became an instant hit with users. Support ended in 2020, but you can still use Windows 7 without updates.
Here’s how to tell if you’re using Windows 7:
- start button: It has a glassy Windows that looks like the orb of Windows Vista but fits right into the taskbar.
- start menu: The user’s profile picture extends up and out from the top of the start menu.
- Taskbar: The taskbar is transparent.
Windows 8 was launched on August 1, 2012, and was primarily aimed at devices with touch screens. Unfortunately, it became a huge disappointment for everyone.
Here are some notable features of Windows 8:
- splash screen: In Windows 8.0, you don’t have columns of icons that pop up after clicking the Start button. Instead, you have apps that appear as boxes on the Start screen.
- start button: In Windows 8.1, you have a Start button without the waving logo used in previous Windows operating systems. Instead, you have a logo with four angled parts. The same logo is also used in Windows 10.
With over a billion active users at the time of writing, Windows 10 is the most popular operating system released by Microsoft.
- start menu: You have a start menu similar to Windows 7. But instead of having icons, you have Live Tiles (like the ones in Windows 8) inside the start menu.
- start button: The start button is in the lower left corner of your screen with the Windows logo at the top. The logo has four angled parts.
- Search box on the taskbar: On the right side of the taskbar, you will see a search box with the words “Ask me anything”. This is Cortana’s search box.
Microsoft launched Windows 11 in October 2021. As expected, it looks more modern than its predecessor – Windows 10. Some of the notable features include:
- rounded edges: Window corners have been rounded for all applications.
- Taskbar: The tray area is clean, with app icons appearing in the center of the taskbar.
- start menu: The Start menu appears in the middle of the screen. It is very similar to the Android app player. Apps appear as a grid of icons that you can install and uninstall.
- start button: The Start button is a small Windows icon on the left side of the taskbar.
- widgets button: Windows 11 comes with a widget button in the left corner of the taskbar.
Alternative ways to check your Windows version
Unfortunately, checking the version of Windows with your own eyes is not very reliable. As you can see, it is possible to use themes to change the look and feel of Windows, even things get tricky in the visual section.
Below, we have covered two reliable ways to check which version of Windows you are running. It’s easy to use regardless of the Windows version, and you’ll also get the version number.
Noticeable: The process is the same for the above versions of Windows. But in this tutorial, we are using Windows 11.
1. Using Winver Command
Winver is a Windows command that is used to display the version of Windows you are running, the service packs you have installed, and the version number. Here’s how to do it.
- press Wins+s To open the Run app.
- He writes
winverin the text box in the application window “Run” and press Enters.
- A new window will open showing your Windows version and build number. Click OK to close the window.
2. With CMD
Although it may seem complicated, using the CMD (Windows Command Prompt) to find out which version of Windows you are running is a simple and straightforward process. Here’s how to do it.
- press Wins+s. The Run app will open.
cmdIn the application text box “Run” and click “OK”.
- A command prompt will open. He writes
systeminfoand press Enters to carry out the command. You will get your system details inside the terminal output. This includes the Windows version and build number.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I check my version of Windows without using the command?
Yes you can. The goal is to find System Information or System Properties. Click on Wins button and then search for “System”. If you are using Windows 11 or 10, you will be able to select System Information from there. A new window will open showing you all the details of your device.
If you click on a file Wins The button takes you to a tiled interface, you’re probably running Windows 8.1, but just to double check, click the search bar in the upper right corner of the screen and search for “PC info” or “This PC”. Click on the application and you will be able to see the exact version your computer is running.
For Windows 7, pressing a file Wins The Start Menu button should appear. Right-click Computer (if you can see it) on the right side and select Properties to confirm it’s indeed Windows 7 you’re running.
How long are Windows versions supported?
Currently, Microsoft only actively supports Windows 11 and Windows 10. Support for Windows 10 ends on October 14, 2025. Microsoft offers at least ten years of support for each operating system. Support includes software and security updates.
How can I check if I’m running a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows?
Here’s how to check to see what version of Windows you’re running:
- press Wins+ me To launch “Settings”.
- In the left pane, click “System”.
- Select About to see if your system is 32-bit or 64-bit.
Image credit: Pixabay
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