Lightroom: Switching from 32 bit to 64 bit

category: Lightroom • 1 min read

I got an email from a reader asking me that he got a new computer with Windows 7 and a quad core CPU… He’s currently running Windows XP and Lightroom 2.6 on his old computer.

Switching from 32 bit to 64 bit as 2 main speed advantages:

  1. Applications doing CPU intensive work are faster, usually 20% to 50% faster. This affects Lightroom greatly, since most of the work done in Lightroom is very CPU intensive. Processing the photos and building/processing the previews.
  2. When an application need to get passed the 3Gb of RAM limit. This is not a great benefit to Lightroom. Lightroom is not a memory “pig” like Photoshop. Lightroom keeps the catalog, and the image and the current previews in memory. That’s it. So Lightroom will only go past the 3Gb RAM barrier only if the catalog is a “monster” catalog.

The steps are very simple:

  1. On the older computer, the 32 bit computer, copy your to your backup disk.
  2. On the new computer, the 64 bit computer, install Lightroom 64, the installer will detect the 64 bit computer or use setup64.exe.
  3. Restore the Lightroom 32 bit files on your computer.
  4. Open Lightroom, and point to the Lightroom 32 bit catalog. Lightroom 3, 64 bit will convert it automatically.
  5. Done.
  • You cannot run Lightroom 64 bit on a 32 bit computer. You need a 64 bit computer with a 64 operating system.