MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps

32Bit Apps in MacOS Catalina will not work
32Bit Apps in MacOS Catalina will not work

MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps : Since MacOS 10.13 Apple have been warning users that 32 Bit Apps are on the way out. Well, with the release of MacOS 10.15 Catalina that time is now.

So before you upgrade you really should test what is going to stop working. At least then you can make the decision to go ahead with the upgrade or wait a while and see if the App Developer releases a 64 Bit update. Although to be fair – they have had enough warning so probably should have already done so! Don’t give up though, some lazy developers are still releasing updates.

Personally I have upgraded my MacBook Pro and not my iMac. I’m impressed with Catalina and would love to upgrade my iMac too however I can’t bear to loose Cannon Fodder, Theme Park, Sim City 4 and a few other classic games. Everything else that hasn’t bothered with updating – well I’m happy enough to move on without them, no doubt better alternatives are already out there.

Two programs of note that are a potential sticking point for many are :

1. Microsoft Office 2011 – this is not compatible and upgrading to Catalina will force you onto the Office 365 Subscription model.

2. Aperture : Apple’s own image software will no longer work with MacOS Catalina.

If you are a bit late (somehow) to this news and have jumped into the MacOS 10.15 Catalina update it is probably already too late for you, but don’t panic you can still see all the incompatible apps and then you can start looking for the updates or at least research the developer to see if an update is likely.

Option 1 : Use Go64 to find 32-bit apps on your Mac :

MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps :Go64 Homepage
MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps :Go64 Homepage

St. Claire Software have released an app called Go64 (free, donations accepted) that scans all the software on your Mac and tells you whether each app is 64-bit or not. The Go64 software is fast and easy to use. It will also provide a web link to the app developer’s website, so you can check out if an update has been released. You can then add the cost of any update to the Go64 App and see how much a potential full upgrade to Catalina will cost. Go64 will scan you boot drive initially but you can set it from within the app to scan any drive.

MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps : Go64 Results Example Page
MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps : Go64 Results Example Page

Option 2 : Find 32-bit apps on your Mac through System Report :

MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps : About This Mac
About This Mac

To use System Report to find 32 Bit Apps follow this procedure :

  1. Click the Apple symbol () in the menu bar on your Mac’s desktop.
  2. Click on About This Mac.
  3. Choose “System Report” at the bottom of the window.
  4. Scroll down to the Software list on the sidebar.
  5. Select Legacy Software. (Anything in the list of Legacy Software applications is a 32-bit app and will not work when upgrading to ‌macOS Catalina‌.)
  6. If Legacy Software isn’t an option in the sidebar, select the Applications option and then check the list of apps at the right. The column that’s labeled 64-bit will show a “No” listing for apps that are 32-bit. 

32-Bit App Warnings When Installing Catalina :

When upgrading to ‌macOS Catalina‌, the installer will show a list of recently used apps that are 32-bit so you know what to expect before installing. 

32-Bit App Warnings When Installing Catalina
32-Bit App Warnings When Installing Catalina

After viewing this list, you can choose to either cancel or continue with the installation. 

‌MacOS Catalina‌ will also show a stop symbol over the icon of 32-bit apps in Finder, so you know that the app isn’t going to open. 

Option 3 : Find 32-bit apps on your Mac through Activity Monitor :

There is a third option, however this will only work before updating to MacOS 10.15 and is a bit convoluted and only works if a 32 Bit app is currently running.

  • Launch Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities)
  • In the CPU section, you see a list of apps running on your Mac. Right click the top row of categories. In the pop-up list that appears, select Kind.
MacOS Activity Monitor
MacOS Activity Monitor
  • At the right end of the top row, a new column called “Kind” should appear. You can click, hold and drag it to a new location if you wish. Like, say, next to the application names.
  • The Kind row will tell you if a running app is 32-bit or 64-bit. You’ll need to upgrade 32-bit apps before using macOS 10.15.
MacOS Activity Monitor
MacOS Activity Monitor

So there you have it, personally the Go64 route is the one I prefer and the final advice is simple.

Make sure to check what apps you are going to lose on a Catalina update and be sure you can live without them, because if they are 32 Bit they simply will not work.

Maybe you have decided to not upgrade to MacOS 10.15 Catalina. That is understandable but you can still have the look of Catalina – Check out the Apple Wallpaper Page Here.

MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps : 32 Bit Apps are Heading For the Trash Can
MacOS 10.15 Catalina : 32 Bit Apps are Heading For the Trash Can

2 thoughts on “MacOS 10.15 Catalina : How to Find 32 Bit Apps”

  1. Looking for “Legacy Software” certainly flags some unrunnable software, but doesn’t tell the whole story. I have namebench.app left over on my machine from Mojave, and it’s not flagging that.

    • I am not sure if I understand your comment here?

      Is there a question?

      The app may not flag it as the app itself is 64 bit. If the app is not working that may be due to the fact that some of its internal elements could be 32 bit and thus making the entire app incompatible with Catalina.

      Is there an update available?

      Namebench.app is just a DNS app from Google. Do you need it? If not why just not get rid of it?

      You can easily manage your DNS settings within MacOS in the Network settings app.

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