How to Identify the Mac Apps Apple Plans to Kill

Upgrade your Mac apps to 64 bit immediately

Developers have been given fair warning of a Mac move to 64-bit only. Image detail c/o:mjtmail (tiggy)

Mac users may have missed Apple’s memo when the company warned it plans to discontinue support for 32-bit Mac apps in 2019. It is already evicting 32-bit apps from its mobile platforms, fall’s iOS 11 release will only support 64-bit apps.

How to check your Mac apps

Macs have been running 64-bit chips since mid-2011, when it introduced Mac OS X Lion. That’s great, and you’d certainly expect most application developers would have migrated their apps to full 64-bit support, but you’d be wrong. Even Apple hasn’t finished the job – the DVD Player app remains 32-bit, which isn’t a great surprise when no new Macs include an optical drive. So, how can you check which of your Mac applications won’t make the cut when Apple terminates 32-bit support in 2019?

  • Step one: Tap the Apple logo in the Menu
  • Step two: Tap About this Mac
  • Step three: Tap System Report… in the next pane
  • Step four: You will be in System Information. Scroll down the page to find ‘Software’ and select Applications.
  • Step five: Wait a few moments while your Mac figures it all out.
  • Step six: You will see a list that shows all the applications you have installed on your Mac. It tells you want versions they are, who they are from and when they were last modified. Scroll along the page until your find the final column called ’64-bit (Intel)’.
  • Step seven: Look down the list and in most cases you’ll see the word ‘Yes’, this means the app is a 64-bit app.
  • Step eight: Some apps will say No, in which case glance back along the row to check what the app is and where it came from.
  • Step nine: Spare a moment’s thought for the DVD Player app.
  • Step ten: If any of the applications you now know have not already been raised to 64-bit are ones that you make a lot of use of, contact the developer and ask what their upgrade plans are.
  • Step eleven: Take a look at some of my other tips.

Knowledge is power, apparently.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

2 Responses

  1. Checking for 32-bit apps via System Information’s Applications list will only work if you don’t have several hundred applications. The program hangs on my machine if I try this.

  2. Jaimie says:

    You can click on the column heading title (64 bit/Intel)to sort them as well and all your incompatible apps will show up together.

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