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Microsoft is no longer bringing x64 emulation to Windows 10 on ARM

The Surface Pro X is the only Microsoft device to ship with Windows on ARM so far. (Image source: Microsoft)
The Surface Pro X is the only Microsoft device to ship with Windows on ARM so far. (Image source: Microsoft)
Microsoft has confirmed that you must use Windows 11 for x64 emulation on ARM chipsets. For some reason, the company has decided to drop Windows 10 on ARM, which has supported x64 emulation for nearly a year.

Windows on ARM remains relatively unexplored territory for Microsoft and Windows OEMs, with the Surface Pro X still the marque device two years after its release. By contrast, Apple has embraced the ARM architecture, most recently with the M1 Pro and the M1 Max in its new MacBook Pros. 

Last December, Microsoft announced that it would bring x64 emulation to Windows 10 on ARM, a feature missing from the fledgling OS. Windows 10 on ARM already supported x86 emulation but making sure you have a 32-bit installer is not ideal. Initially, Microsoft brought x64 emulation to the Windows Insider Program, although you need a preview version of the Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver for some ARM machines that supported Windows 10 ARM.

Since then, Microsoft has released Windows 11, including an ARM version. For some reason, the company has now decided to quietly drop any intentions of integrating x64 emulation within Windows 10 on ARM. Inexplicably, it only confirmed this change in a Windows Blogs post where most people would miss it.

Now, x64 emulation will only be available on Windows 11 and newer operating systems. Microsoft has not provided a reason for this, but you must upgrade your Surface Pro X, Galaxy Book S and other ARM-powered Windows machines to Windows 11 if you want to use x64 emulation. Similarly, you will need a Windows 11 image for the same experience in Parallels Desktop on an Apple Silicon Mac.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 5721 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > Microsoft is no longer bringing x64 emulation to Windows 10 on ARM
Alex Alderson, 2021-11-17 (Update: 2021-11-17)