The 64-bit Mac app transition: What you need to know

The Mac has been shipping with 64-bit processors since before the Intel transition and macOS, née OS X, has supported 64-bit for years. Modern technologies, like Metal, require 64-bit. One day, macOS will as well. Apple hasn't said what day that will be, at least not yet, but it's continuing its long, slow march in that general direction.

And the next step is notifications.

What notification will Mac users see?

If you're running macOS 10.13.4 or later, starting April 12 at midnight local time, if and when you launch a 32-bit notification, you'll get a notification that says:

[App] is not optimized for your Mac.

This app needs to be updated by its developer to improve compatibility.

You'll only ever get the notification once — the first time you launch the 32-bit app, and only to let you know the app will, eventually, be outdated.

Will you still be able to run 32-bit apps on macOS?

Absolutely. For now — and until Apple officially announces and implements an end-of-support date.

Is there a way to see any and all 32-bit apps you might have installed on your Mac?

There is, but it's tedious.

  1. Click on the  (Apple) icon in the Menubar.
  2. Click on About this Mac.
  3. Click on System Report.
  4. Click on Applications (under Software.)
  5. Click on an App.
  6. If the 64-bit (Intel) field says No, the app is 32-bit.

What do you do if you have 32-bit apps?

Check the Mac App Store or developer's webpage for an updated, 64-bit version of the app. If one's available, upgrade.

If there's no 64-bit version available, you can send the developer feedback, or you can look for a similar app that does support 64-bit.

When will the 32- to 64-bit transition be complete?

Apple hasn't set that date yet. Hopefully, the company is watching how fast developers are moving and users are updating and, when it does set a date, it'll be one that works for as many people as possible.

For more information, keep an eye on Apple's knowledge base.

VECTOR | Rene Ritchie

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