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I'm installing an old game (32-bit) on my laptop (Windows 10 64-bit). This guide suggests enabling 32-bit applications to run with Internet Information Services (ISS), with the following steps:.


  1. In Windows Search, type "features." Choose the Control Panel app "Turn Windows features on or off" under 'best match'.
  2. Check the box beside "Internet Information Services" and click OK to install. It will take about 30 seconds. Close the dialog when done.
  3. In the Windows Search, type "IIS." Choose the app "Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager" under 'best match'.
  4. Once open, navigate to the left pane (under "Connections") and you will see your PC listed. Click the arrow to Expand and choose "Application Pools".
  5. In the main part of the window, right-click on "DefaultAppPool" and choose Advanced Settings from the context menu.
  6. Under 'General', click on "Enable 32-bit Applications", click the arrow and change the value from 'False' to 'True'.
  7. Restart your PC.

I was just wondering whether using this particular method of running/installing 32-bit apps would cause any security issues or make my laptop more vulnerable to attacks/malware etc.?

Thanks.

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    IIS is a web server. I very much question why it would be useful to do anything with IIS at all on a typical desktop machine.
    – bk2204
    Dec 18, 2021 at 2:03
  • 1
    This guide is pointless. Windows 10 can already run 32 bit applications without any extra features. It's built-in.
    – user163495
    Dec 18, 2021 at 2:08

1 Answer 1

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You've actually got two questions there:

  1. Are there security risks to running 32-bit applications on Windows 10?

None worth worrying about. There are some minor risks such as the 32-bit address space limiting the amount of address randomization possible, but they'd only be an issue if you're under attack from a three-letter agency or the like.

  1. Are there security risks to following the quoted instructions?

Very much so. What those instructions have you do is install a web server, but they don't do anything to secure it. They also don't have anything to do with running 32-bit applications -- Windows 10 supports 32-bit applications by default.

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