Does Visual Studio Build Tools 2022 support 32-bit Windows?

Jayman 40 Reputation points


I’m working on contributing to Descent 3. Specifically, I’m working on improving its build instructions. As a part of the new build instructions that I’m writing, I’ve created a script that installs Visual Studio 2022 and any required components if they aren’t installed already. The script depends on vswhere.exe.

As long as the user has a new enough version of the Visual Studio Installer, vswhere.exe is guaranteed to be located at %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio\Installer\vswhere.exe on 32-bit systems and at %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio\Installer\vswhere.exe on 64-bit systems. My script checks both locations just in case the user has a 32-bit installation of Windows. My script works fine on Windows 11, but I wanted to make sure that it still works even if the user has a 32-bit version of Windows, so I installed Windows 10 Pro 32-bit on a spare laptop.

After doing some testing, I found out that you can’t install most Visual Studio 2022 products on 32-bit versions of Windows. For example, if I try to install Visual Studio Community 2022 on a 32-bit version of Windows 10, then I get this error:

“A product matching the following parameters cannot be found: channelUri: productId: Microsoft.VisualStudio.Product.Community”

This makes sense. After all, the “Visual Studio 2022 Product Family System Requirements” say

The following are not supported:

  • 32-bit and ARM32 operating systems.

That being said, whenever I try to install Visual Studio Build Tools 2022 on a 32-bit version of Windows 10, it installs successfully. This is especially surprising when you read this part of the “Visual Studio 2022 Product Family System Requirements”:

The Build Tools support the same system requirements as Visual Studio with the following changes:

  • Also installs on the Server Core option for Windows Server Core 2022, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016
  • Also installs into a Windows container.
  • Requires 2.3 GB to 60 GB of available hard disk space, depending on installed features

The way I see it, there are three possibilities:

  1. The documentation is right. Visual Studio Build Tools 2022 doesn’t support 32-bit Windows. There’s no real guarantee that it will continue to work in the future.
  2. The documentation is wrong and should be updated. Visual Studio Build Tools 2022 does indeed support 32-bit Windows.
  3. There’s something that I missed or haven’t thought about yet.

Which one of those possibilities is correct?

Windows 10
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A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
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Visual Studio
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A family of Microsoft suites of integrated development tools for building applications for Windows, the web and mobile devices.
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  1. Gowtham CP 3,340 Reputation points

    Hey Jayman ,

    Thank you for reaching out on the Microsoft Q&A .

    Great catch with the Visual Studio Build Tools on 32-bit Windows! The documentation is a bit contradictory.

    Officially, Visual Studio 2022 and its Build Tools aren't supported on 32-bit Windows. Even though you managed to install them, it’s not guaranteed to work consistently.

    For your Descent 3 build instructions, I recommend:

    1. Skip the 32-bit check in your script.
    2. Update the information to specify that users need a 64-bit version of Windows for the Build Tools.

    I hope this helps! If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

    If the information is useful, please accept the answer and upvote it to assist other community members.

    1 person found this answer helpful.
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