Beginning June 1, 2018, all new app updates submitted to the Mac App Store had to support 64-bit. Apple is expected to phase out support for 32-bit apps in macOS 10.15, which will almost certainly be previewed at the 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference in June. (It’ll kick off on Monday, June 3.)
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This means that means some older apps that haven’t been updated in awhile will cease to work. Thankfully, it’s easy to tell if an app is 32-bit or 64-bit.
As developers optimize their apps for 64-bit compatibility, Apple is notifying customers when they’re using an app based on 32-bit technology via a one-time alert that appears when you launch a 32-bit app. In macOS Mojave, this alert appears once every 30 days when launching the app.
To check if an app is 32-bit or 64-bit, from the Apple menu, choose About This Mac, then click the System Report button. From the system report, scroll down to Software in the sidebar, then select Applications. When you select an individual application, you will see a field titled 64-bit (Intel). “Yes” indicates 64-bit; “No” indicates 32-bit. If you’re using macOS Mojave (and you should be), select Legacy Software in the sidebar to see all applications that haven’t been updated to use 64-bit processes.
Alternately, you can use the free 32-bit Check application (https://eclecticlight.co/32-bitcheck-archichect/), which lets you save, print, and filter the list. With it, you can check the folders of your choosing, and can check just apps, or all bundles including plugins and other executable code.
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Apple was phasing out the use of 32-bits applications on macOS for quite some time. Now the finishing time has come that the version 10.15 or macOS Catalina will no more support 32-bit applications. If you are still running old and unsupported applications in macOS Mojave or earlier versions then you need be cautious before upgrading to macOS Catalina. In this article, we will explain how to check 32-bit and 64-bit apps in macOS.
What Happens When You Open 32-bit Apps?
As of macOS Mojave, Apple will show a warning message whenever you open 32-bit apps. The best example of 32-bit app on macOS is Microsoft Office 2011. Whenever you open the app, macOS will show you a message like below indicating that the app is outdated and not optimized for your Mac.
However, you can still click on the “OK” button to continue using the app. Unfortunately, this is no more possible with macOS Catalina. When the 32-bit app is on the dock, you will see a white cross mark on the app indicating it will not work any more.
Trying to open the 32-bit with macOS Catalina will show a messages like below depending on the app:
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Basically you have the following three options:
- Go to the App Store and find the replacement or upgraded app.
- Click on “Learn More…” button to go to Apple’s page explaining about 32-bit apps.
- Choose “Not Now” button to close the app.
If there are no upgrade or alternate options then you can’t use 32-bit apps with macOS Catalina.
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Related:How to fox slow performance and speedup your Mac?
How to Check 32-bit and 64-bit Apps in macOS?
If you wanted to check how many apps on your Mac are running with 32-bit then follow the below instructions.
- Click on the Apple menu icon on top left corner of the Mac and choose “About This Mac” option.
- Under the “Overview” tab, click on “System Report…” button.
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- You will see a system information dialog like below. Click on the “Applications” option available under “Software” section. It may take sometime to load the list depending upon the number of apps on your Mac.
- Select any application to view the details on the below pane. You can check against the “Kind” option whether it shows 32-bit or 64-bit apps.
- Generally, all Apple apps should be of 64-bit. Therefore, you can click on the “Obtained from” column to sort the list based on the developer.
- Check the apps downloaded from Mac App Store, Identified Developer or Unknown categories to easily find the 32-bit apps.
- You can clearly see the Kind will show as “32-bit (Unsupported) indicating the app will no more work on your Mac.
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Unfortunately, you have no option to modified any parameter on the apps. If you have premium apps purchased from App Store or directly from third-party websites, contact the developer and inform them to upgrade a 64-bit version. For the free apps, you need to find alternatives from App Store from other developers.
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If you have no other option to use the app then delay upgrading to macOS Catalina till the time you find alternative solution.