What Windows version am I running?

We’re getting a lot of questions through the Python mailing lists, and especially the Webmaster address on account of the changes to the Windows installer for Python 3.5. And, in particular, because Python 3.5 drops support for Windows XP. (We’ve previously dropped support for Windows 2000 and the 9x/Me tree but none of those had quite the installed userbase of XP).

There are several separate issues we’re seeing, and it’s important to know what version of Windows (and, sometimes, what SP) the user is running. And the user isn’t always clear. So here is the most straightforward way to get the system information from any recent Windows system. It’s not the only way; it’s just that it’s about the most straightforward thing to describe, given that — by definition — we don’t know what system the user is running.

System Screen

You’re looking for the System screen.

Two options which will work pretty much anywhere.

* If your keyboard has a key labelled Pause|Break, use the Windows key like a shift and tap that Pause|Break key.


* Right-click on your “My Computer” icon (which might also be called “Computer” or just the name of the computer) and select Properies.

Both of these will bring up one of the screens below, or a close match. Most of the information we need is near the top of the screen. (I’ve clipped several of the sample windows to hide non-essential information).

You can also usually get to this screen via the Control Panel under a label like “System”.


Windows XP

Windows XP System Info

Windows 7

Windows 7 System Info

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 System Info

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 System Info

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 System Info

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows 2012 R2 System Info


And there are two other alternative screens with more or less of the same information:

* winver.exe [Start > Run > winver.exe]

* msinfo32.exe [Start > Run > msinfo32.exe]