Skip to main content

Your Mac will now start warning you about your 32-bit apps

If you’re running the latest and greatest version of MacOS, High Sierra 10.13.4 — and you should be — then you’ll want to keep an eye out for a new notification that might pop up when you start an application. Simply put, Apple is going to start letting you know when an app isn’t based on 64-bit technology, which at some point in the relatively near future will mean that won’t run on your MacOS hardware.


Apple has been planning for a switch to full 64-bit compatibility for a while now. The reason is that all modern Macs are built around 64-bit processors, which bring some significant performance advantages. An app that’s written for 64-bit compatibility is going to have access to more memory and its going to produce much faster system performance overall. And the newest Apple technologies, like its Metal graphics acceleration capability that lets the CPU and GPU cooperate for faster graphics and gaming performance, only work with 64-bit apps.

For now, you’ll be able to continue running 32-bit apps without any bad consequences. The warning is therefore intended to help you prepare for the day that MacOS will only run 64-bit software. For now, that date remains some unknown time in the future, because Apple hasn’t yet determined when MacOS will make a complete transition to 64-bit-only.

However, if you open an app and receive the notification, you’ll want to contact the developer and ask them when they’ll have their app optimized for 64-bit compatibility. If they don’t plan to make the switch, then you’ll want to start thinking about alternatives.

The easiest way to find out which apps aren’t already 64-bit compatible is to ask MacOS itself. Simply open the Apple menu, select “About This Mac,” and then click on “System Report.” In the resulting report, scroll to “Software,” and then click on “Applications.” You can then select an app and check the “64-bit (Intel)” field, which will indicate “Yes” for 64-bit and “No” for 32-bit.

Again, you still have some time before your 32-bit apps will simply stop working. The sooner you start preparing for the switch, though, the easier the transition will be — whenever it occurs.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
I was wrong about using Stage Manager on Mac
Stage manager in macOS Ventura.

Stage Manager is one of those software features that has had a rather bumpy road since Apple launched it in 2022. The unique multitasking feature has landed itself in a heap of criticism over its short lifespan.

I, however, was not one of these critics. I was super excited by Stage Manager and the promise it contained. It was something new and shiny, here to shake up macOS in a fresh and different way. Even after using it myself, I foresaw it fundamentally changing the way I used my Mac.

Read more
How to change the default apps on a Mac
Change your Mac’s default apps in three easy steps
MacOS Catalina Hands-on | Macbook Pro

Apple products come loaded with software designed to work seamlessly with the macOS operating system. For example, Safari is the default software used to load websites, Preview is used to view pictures, and Pages will open documents. But if you're not a fan of the built-in software, Apple doesn't lock you into using it. However, you'll need to know exactly where to look if you want to change the default apps on a Mac.

Thankfully, the process is largely the same whether you're running macOS Sonoma 14, Ventura 13, or other macOS versions. It's also easy to reverse the process and go back to using default apps.

Read more
10 Mac trackpad gestures that everyone should be using
A person holds a MacBook Air at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) in 2023.

One of the best parts of macOS is learning and executing all of Apple’s many internal shortcuts. These are hidden commands built into the company’s hardware that are total godsends when it comes to things like click consolidation (one command instead of three clicks) and workflow optimization. Some of these commands you may already know, but we’re willing to bet there’s at least one or two we can introduce to you!

That’s our goal at any rate, and we’ve gone ahead and created this roundup of several trackpad gestures you can use in macOS for all our readers. Even if you don’t use shortcuts all the time, one of these quick executables could come in handy down the line. 
Zoom in or out

Read more