Many times people run into this problem where VirtualBox or VMware is only showing 32 bit operating system options and they ask, Why VirualBox is showing only 32 bit operating system even though I am using a 64 bit windows as my host OS. Today I will guide you how to enable 64-bit virtual machines in Virtualbox or VMware.
I will be using VirtualBox but you can also follow the same steps for VMware as the settings are pretty much identical. The problem is related to Virtualization settings in the BIOS of your system. With virtualization, you are allowed to run a 64-bit guest operating system on a 64-bit host.
VirualBox only showing 32-bit guest OS on 64-bit host
As you can see in the picture below, when I click on “New’ I only have 32-bit Operating systems as guests in my Oracle VirtualBox. I have also attached a picture on my host operating system which is indeed a 64-bit windows 8.1
To solve this problem, you have to make sure that your system supports virtualization. To check, you can see the manual of your system of you can also check the specifications of the processor to see if it supports virtualization.
As I have Intel Core i7 5th gen CPU, It supports virtualization. Now you have to restart your computer and when the computer starts press the BIOS key and enter intro BIOS of the motherboard. In HP, I had to press the Esc key and then F10 to enter the BIOS.
The BIOS key differs between every computer manufacturer so make sure you check your computer’s manual for this as well.
Once you are in the BIOS, You need to go to system configuration and enable virtualization. Again it is not always under the system configuration so you have to find this setting and enable it. I have attached an image of my computer so you can get sort of a reference from it.
After enabling virtualization, save the settings and restart into your Operating System and you should now see 64-bit Operating Systems in VirtualBox.
If you don’t see 64-bit operating system in VirtualBox, then you may have to disable the HyperV. In windows 8.1, right Click the start button and select “Programs and Features”
Now select ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ and uncheck HyperV in the pop-up window. Press OK and restart your Computer once. Now you should be able to see 64-bit guest operating systems in VirtualBox.
That’s it for now. Don’t forget to let me know if you found this little tutorial helpful and also share it with others on social media.