How large is a DWORD with 32- and 64-bit code?


Question

In Visual C++ a DWORD is just an unsigned long that is machine, platform, and SDK dependent. However, since DWORD is a double word (that is 2 * 16), is a DWORD still 32-bit on 64-bit architectures?

1
46
9/30/2016 2:26:16 PM

Accepted Answer

Actually, on 32-bit computers a word is 32-bit, but the DWORD type is a leftover from the good old days of 16-bit.

In order to make it easier to port programs to the newer system, Microsoft has decided all the old types will not change size.

You can find the official list here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa383751(VS.85).aspx

All the platform-dependent types that changed with the transition from 32-bit to 64-bit end with _PTR (DWORD_PTR will be 32-bit on 32-bit Windows and 64-bit on 64-bit Windows).

59
1/27/2010 12:40:47 AM

It is defined as:

typedef unsigned long       DWORD;

However, according to the MSDN:

On 32-bit platforms, long is synonymous with int.

Therefore, DWORD is 32bit on a 32bit operating system. There is a separate define for a 64bit DWORD:

typdef unsigned _int64 DWORD64;

Hope that helps.


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