Before upgrading your Mac desktop or laptop to macOS Catalina, you should first consider the following: If you use 32-bit apps, they will not work with the new macOS update. When Catalina comes out later in 2019, only 64-bit apps are supported, so macOS Mojave (version 10.13) is the final major release for supporting 32-bit apps.
Does this change affect you? No, especially if you mainly use Apple software. Apple wrote on a support page that it has been working for over a decade to convert its own apps to 64-bit. Regardless of whether you rely on two or 200 apps, it's important to know which ones can be affected. That's how I found out that five of the hundred or so apps I've installed need to be updated before macOS Catalina is available. While none of the five was important to me, losing a really important app could be a deal-breaker when it comes to upgrades.
If you are using macOS Mojave and have used apps that are not supported by the new operating system, you may see a pop-up warning from Apple that the app is not optimized for future releases. (One will be shown every 30 days when you open the app.) Otherwise, you'll need to dig a bit to see if your favorite apps are cutting. Luckily, that's easy.
How to determine if your apps are 32-bit or 64-bit versions
To perform these steps, I use a MacBook Air with macOS Sierra (version 1
- On your desktop, click the Apple logo in the upper-left corner of the display and select "About This Mac" from the drop-down menu.
- A new window will appear, showing the most important technical data of your device, including time of manufacture, processor and memory, serial number and more. What you want to focus on now is the "System Report …" button at the bottom of the window. Click on it.
- This will open another window. The left side shows categories (hardware, network, software) and sub-categories (ATA, audio, Bluetooth, camera, etc.) of the hardware and software that make up your system. On the right side the data relevant for this category is displayed. Scroll down to the Software category and select Programs.
The right pane may be blank for a few moments while a list of installed apps is displayed. In the displayed list, look for the column titled "64-bit (Intel)". This is the fifth column from the left. All apps that are only 32-bit capable will be marked "No" in this column.
To sort the list so that all 32-bit apps are together, click on the heading "64-bit (Intel)".
What if my favorite app is still 32-bit?
If one of your apps is 32-bit, they run the risk of not working when you start macOS Catalina. There is hope, however. Apple says it's working with developers to prepare it for the shift, but you can also contact the developer of your app directly for your opinion.
How To Find Out How To Contact Developers Best An App:
- Open the app in question.
- After running, click the app's name next to the Apple logo on the top left of the screen.
- Click Info in the drop-down menu. [app name]. "There is a good chance that the contact information will be there. If not, search for information on the app's website.
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