IE version on Windows 8.1 64 bit RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi - I was trying to identify which bit version of IE (32 or 64) gets opened as default in windows 8.1 64 bit.


    What I am seeing here in my system is that it is always opening 64 bit IE browser even if I turn off protected mode. (by the properties iexplore.exe in the task manager I can confirm that it is using the 64 bit browser as browser exe is being utilized from non x86 location) but on further investigation, I found that this 64 bit browser is refering to two EXEs (under detail section in the task manager) one with 32 bit and one with 64 bit (I confirmed this by seeing the location of these EXEs) and memory is getting loaded under both the EXEs if any perform any action on the IE. Also, the explorer gets shutdown if I terminate/kill the 64 bit EXE from the details section.

    Is it safe to say that window 8.1 64 bit will only open 64 bit browser and is there any difference in rendering engine (32 vs 64 bit) ?




    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:57 PM


All replies

  • Hi Kunal,

    I think this thread is specific to TechNet IE forum. So I am helping you to move this thread directly into that forum. Thank you for your understanding.


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    Thursday, April 17, 2014 6:09 AM
  • Hi,

    On 64-bit Windows 8.1, the browser frame process (both “modern UI” and Desktop) runs 64-bit. However, for compatibility with plug-ins, IE 11 on the desktop runs 32-bit tabs by default.
    Regarding to "Enhanced Protected Mode", you can refer to the following link
    Understanding Enhanced Protected Mode

    Yolanda Zhu
    TechNet Community Support

    • Proposed as answer by DonPick Friday, April 18, 2014 7:19 AM
    • Marked as answer by KunalChopra Friday, April 18, 2014 4:53 PM
    Friday, April 18, 2014 1:14 AM
  • Is it safe to say that window 8.1 64 bit will only open 64 bit browser and is there any difference in rendering engine (32 vs 64 bit) ?

    It's not clear how you are deciding which tasks are 32-bit and 64-bit.  E.g. you need to differentiate between "chrome" tasks (iexplore.exe tasks which contain tab tasks) and tab tasks.

    FWIW I use WMIC to determine which tasks are 32-bit or 64-bit.  

    wmic.exe  Process  where  (Name = "iexplore.exe")  get  CommandLine, ProcessId

    Tab tasks refer to their Chrome tasks' PID.

    Robert Aldwinckle

    Friday, April 18, 2014 1:48 PM
  • Thanks a lot...


    Friday, April 18, 2014 4:52 PM
  • Thanks for your reply. After performing some test I was able to come to the below conclusion:

    • IE 11/10 browser is actually executed using two different threads:
      • Container App (This uses the bit as of the OS. 64 bit on 64bit OS and 32 on 32 bit OS)
      • Tabs underlying the container app (All underlying tabs are 32 bit if Enhanced Protected Mode is Off.)
    • IE 11 on 64 bit OS can render contents using both 32 and 64 bit. By default, it will render contents using 32 bit but if user turns on “64 bit Enhanced Protected Mode” then it will render content in 64 bit.




    Friday, April 18, 2014 4:58 PM