Apple's new Mac update won't support a handful of apps, but there's an easy way to see which of yours are incompatible

  • Apple’s new macOS Catalina is ditching 32-bit app support, which means some apps may not work in the new update.
  • MacOS Catalina will only support 64-bit apps.
  • There’s a quick and easy way in macOS Mojave to see if your current apps are 32-bit or 64-bit.
  • Even if your apps are 32-bit in macOS Mojave, the app’s developers might have a 64-bit version ready for macOS Catalina, especially if the developer is recognised by Apple.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For the new macOS Catalina update, Apple is ditching certain low-powered versions of apps, know as “32-bit” apps, which don’t take full advantage of a Mac computer’s power.

Instead, macOS Catalina will only support “64-bit” apps that can make better use of your computer’s power.

For most people and the apps they use, this shouldn’t pose much of a problem. But just in case, there’s a quick and easy way to see if your apps are already 64-bit in macOS Mojave.

In some cases, you might find an app isn’t 64-bit, but that doesn’t mean that it’s outright incompatible with macOS Catalina – the app’s developers might have a 64-bit version of their app ready for macOS Catalina, especially if they’re recognised by Apple.

Here’s how to quickly and easily check which apps may or may not work with macOS Catalina:

First, click the Apple icon on the top left, then click “About this Mac.”

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In the Window that pops up, click “System Report.”

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In the System Report window, scroll down on the left until you find “Applications” and click on it.

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It helps if you resize the Applications section in System Report to make it easier to see which apps are compatible with macOS Catalina.

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On the right, you’ll see a column named “64-bit (Intel).” If you see an app that says “No,” you may run into some issues. You can click the column tab to sort the apps so you can see all the no’s in one group.

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For apps that show “No,” check the column named “Obtained from.” If the app says it’s from “unknown,” it may not work in macOS Catalina. Those that are “obtained from” Apple, the Mac App Store, or an “Identified Developer” are much more likely to be available in 64-bit for macOS Catalina, even if the app is 32-bit on macOS Mojave.

While you’re installing macOS Catalina, your Mac will show you which recently used apps aren’t compatible with Catalina.


If you want to make sure an app will be compatible with macOS Catalina, Apple’s advice is to contact the app’s developer.

In Apple’s own words:

“The easiest way to contact a developer is to look them up on the web. To find the name of the developer of an app, select its icon in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info from the menu bar.”

Or, you can try Googling the app’s name with “64-bit support” in the search term and see what comes up. The move to macOS Catalina shouldn’t pose massive problems for most people, but it could be messy for those who use more obscure apps that might not be updated so frequently.

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