Mac users will start getting 32-bit app warnings today

Today “at midnight PT, Apple will begin issuing an alert box when you open a 32-bit app in MacOS 10.13.4,” Brian Heater writes for TechCrunch. “It’s a one-time (per app) alert, designed to help macOS make the full transition to 64-bit. At some unspecified time in the future, the operating system will end its support for 32-bit technology… meaning those apps that haven’t been updated just won’t work.”

“That time, mind you, is not tomorrow, but the company’s hoping that this messaging will help light a fire under users and developers to upgrade before that day comes,” Heater writes.

“It’s similar to the transition the company made on the mobile side with iOS 11. Of course, making the shift is a bit messier on the desktop,” Heater writes. “While Apple does have a MacOS App Store, plenty of desktop apps are still downloaded from other channels.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: June 2018 is more than generous for requiring 64-bit support in the Mac App Store.

Apple shipped the world’s first 64-bit personal computer over 14 years ago with the release of the Power Mac G5 on June 23, 2003. Apple unveiled the world’s first 64-bit smartphone (iPhone 5s) on September 10, 2013.

Last June, at WWDC 2017, Apple provided developers with the following notice:

64-bit Requirement for Mac Apps

At WWDC 2017, we announced new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018. If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS. macOS High Sierra will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise.

Apple: High Sierra will be last macOS release to support 32-bit apps ‘without compromise’ – June 29, 2017


  1. I am on Mavericks, wonder if i will be affected. Wish i still had Mountain Lion my Macbook had installed from the factory, ML was so smooth and stable. Upgrading to SSD and 16GB has made my Macbook faster, but still miss the Mountain Lion stability with 4GB Ram and 5400rpm spinner HD

    1. Mavericks through El Craptain sucked. Awkward transition phase where stuff that worked well before was broken and Apple let Ive smash everything into flatness. Not a good era.

      But you really have no choice, Apple is going to force its planned obsolescence one way or another. You won’t be allowed to keep using a 2013 OS going forward, you’re already close to the cutoff for security updates.

      I recommend you download and install macOS 10.12 Sierra , which fixed a lot of crappy Mavericks stuff. You will have to turn off a lot of iOS-style junk. Not knowing exactly your hardware needs and future plans, I would also be very hesitant to jump to HS 10.13. What was supposed to be a refinement release in the macOS tick-tock cycle turned out to be a major exercise in frustration for certain users — and not just because of the poorly managed APFS rollout.

      Good luck.

  2. “…but the company’s hoping that this messaging will help light a fire under users…” Excuse me? USERS!!??

    What? Are we supposed to start bombarding app developers to upgrade their apps? Are you SERIOUS? Is my mother supposed to start writing letters too? PLLLEEEAAASSSSEEE!

    The users have NO say in this. Leave us out of it.

    FWIW, I’m still on Sierra because I don’t trust the new file system. Looks like I’ll never upgrade again. No matter. My mid-2012 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD rMBP is doing just fine, thank you very much… (did I mention I have 3 USB, 2 Thunderbolt, a HDMI and SD card slot all built in with no need for dongles? What a great machine!!)

      1. How true! The whole laptop was upgradeable (which I’ve done for both memory and hard disk)!! They just don’t make them like that any more! 🙁

        And I never understood why they got rid of the Apple logo backlight. It was such GREAT marketing.

        1. Consider this: my rMBP will be SIX YEARS OLD this August! And it’s still going strong! Sure, I’ve lost some of the screws that hold on the backplate and the rubber feet are all gone- but who cares? It’s solid as a rock and still WAY fast enough for what I do.

          I think their move to minimalism, while partially understandable, was a mistake. Yes, the new rMBPs are lighter and faster. But they sacrifice SO much! Why should I have to carry a dongle to connect my Mac to our conference room’s HDMI monitor? Why should I have to connect a dongle just to charge my iPhone or Apple Watch (on the rare occasion that it dies while I’m at work)?

          I know Apple likes to push people forward (they were, after all, the first to remove the floppy & CD drives from computers long before everyone else did). But 4 USB-C ports is NOT what I call a “pro” device. To buy a comparable MBP today I would not only have to spend about $3K (!!) just for the computer but another $300-400 on dongles and docks (a dock for work, a dock for home and a dock for the airplane). And I have to carry around that stuff too! What’s the point of making the laptop so svelte if you then have to carry around all this extra hardware?

          Sometimes I really miss Steve…

          1. True. My Macbook Air is going on 5 years. It still does everything I need it to. Every once in a while I consider an upgrade, but despite the sexiness of the form factor and better screen, there seem to be more drawbacks than benefits. It used to be that PRICE was the only thing holding you back, because virtually everything in the new models was better (faster, lighter, higher res, innovative tech, etc.). Now you have to settle for inferior port connectivity, a bad keyboard (feel and reliability), shorter battery life and a MUCH higher price.

            For all the talk of Apple pushing people forward on new tech, the USB-C revolution has most certainly NOT arrived. Marco Arment had a good article some months ago about how before USB-C gains any traction some new standard will come along to replace it. I’ll probably bite on one of the newer Macbook Pros eventually but I might go for a refurbished model or buy one at a steep discount. A base model 13″ without Touch Bar, upgraded to 16GB RAM and an i7 processor is about $2k before CA tax, that’s excessive.

    1. Don’t take everything you read at face value. This warning gives you, the end user, time to move to other applications, if and when this one stops working. It has nothing to do with persuading you to hammer on developers. I’m sure you would like to know that a favorite piece of software of yours will soon cease launching, wouldn’t you?

      1. So do you honestly believe that annoying dialog boxes is the best way to disseminate that information to the people who actually need to take immediate action, the 3rd party app developers?

        What about all the 32 but Apple apps — is Apple going to tell users whether they can expect a future 64 bit update, or is Apple going to just pull the plug without a word like it did to Aperture users?

        1. If there is a 32 bit app that Apple hasn’t updated yet, there’s a very good chance it’s deprecated already. Same with all developers. If you depend on 32 bit software, just don’t upgrade.

          I think the nag is there just so no one can say they weren’t made aware 🙂

    1. I went through the list on my Mac. It’s LONG! It will be YEARS before I will upgrade to an OS that excludes apps I use everyday if only because of the expense (let alone the hassle of tracking them all down).

      HUGE mistake. And for what? Why not leave the backward compatibility? To force sales of new h/w? Not nice…

      1. Apple hasn’t been truly kind to Mac users since 2010.

        In other news: Mac shipments growing at 1.5% per year, a bit less than population growth.

        Dell shipments: up 7% last year.

        Apple can pat themselves on the back all they want about how much money they are making, the fact is the Mac platform is underperforming due to Apple’s mismanagement. I expect thousands of great apps will not make the leap to 64 bit because Apple gives developers zero incentive to do so. Just like Apple gave developers zero incentive to distribute programs via the Mac app store. I have dozens of great useful programs that developers abandoned in the last few years because they just couldn’t make any money developing for the Mac. Apple needs to fix this as a top priority, more important than iOS annual updates. The profit potential is there, Apple just chooses to ignore doing the hard work.

        1. “Apple gives developers zero incentive to do so.”
          I would think one incentive would be “People that have JUST purchased a new computer are looking for software. If your software is updated, you’ll make money off of these people that want to buy your software.” If, as a developer, “making more money” is not an incentive, then…

          1. You do realize that there are very few developers that focus solely on one platform, right? New Windows machines come out every month. New Android phones every couple months. New iPhones every year. New Macs every 5 years … maybe. Absent of platform owner incentives, 3rd party ROI occurs in the most dynamic marketplaces. Apple couldn’t even get the Mac app store terms and design refined to bring in programs that are currently Windows-only, and Apple shows zero effort of trying.

            Forced change by shutting off legacy support is one way to abuse users and developers … or lose them for good. Mandatory hardware changes only attract followers when the other side of the transition benefits everyone. For the few thousand people who bought gimmickbar MacBook Pros, how many Mac app developers felt it worthwhile to update their apps? It wasn’t worth the software developers’ time. With all the impressive hardware available on other desktop platforms, and a dramatically bigger Windows user base, it’s obvious there will be fallout as many studios will just stop distributing their Mac port. They always put their A team on Windows development anyway.

            1. ALL the platforms you mentioned go through changes such that the code HAS to be changed to support the latest versions. If you’re a developer, it’s a fact of life. Microsoft and Google aren’t providing “incentives” for them to develop, it’s built in. Make it, they’ll buy it, you get money. Any developer CURRENTLY in business and wanting to maintain all their revenue streams (across all platforms) factor this into their planning well ahead of time. This isn’t a surprise to them. I doubt that many, currently making good money from macOS users, will stop distributing. Those that already have or WILL stop are doing so because enough macOS users don’t want/need their software. Apple can’t fix the fact that macOS users didn’t buy their software. It’s all down to the money.

              Now, if you’re talking about the myriad of “dead” applications littering the internet that just so happens to still work in whole or in part, that’s a different story. In the same way that companies have to make a decision to stick with an OS, so, too do users have to make a decision to stick with an app. If you’re making good money using an old app that’s no longer developed (and there’s no viable macOS alternative), the solution is VERY very simple, you don’t upgrade and you keep all your apps working. There are people that stopped updating YEARS ago for this very reason and this situation won’t alter the way they work.

              Actually, the ONLY people affected by this, I guess, are the small group of people that are finding great value in software that’s no longer supported AND has an overriding desire to upgrade to the latest macOS. That’s going to be quite a small set of people as the vast majority of people would look at the value they’re getting and ignore the upgrade.

  3. Why is it that Microsoft Windows 10 has no problem running older 32-bit apps on its 64-bit OS but Apple can’t?

    Once again, Apple is taking the lazy way out. Apple is lazy when it comes to developing hardware; Apple is lazy when it comes to developing software.

    Apple continues to decline under pipeline Timmy.

    1. EXACTLY.

      Everyone would understand a letter to app developers that required 64 bit apps 5 years ago. A letter directly to users scaring them into unnecessary software updates, when we all know a lot of 32 bit software isn’t ever going to be updated, is yet one more slap in the face from Apple.

      There is no technical reason to artificially cut support for Macs to run 32 bit Intel and Universal apps. This is just another example of Apple overplaying its weak hand in planned obsolescence.

      Did Hair Force strike again or is this more Shiller Ass Innovation?

      1. There ARE technical reasons. The reason they’re cutting off support is almost COMPLETELY technical, because they could always make a business reason to keep backwards compatibility. But, as there are reports that macOS is being written for A series chips and those ONLY come in 64-bit versions, they’re making the cut now.


    2. Microsoft makes a 32-bit Microsoft Windows because there are problems running some older 32-bit apps under the 64-bit OS. Apple won’t be providing a separate 32 and 64 bit version.

      1. I am running some very old 32-bit apps in Windows 10 and they work perfectly.
        The built-in obsolescence of Apple products is pure suckitude.

        I can run the very latest Windows OS and Windows apps on my cheese grater Mac Pro but I can’t run the latest Mac OS or all the latest Mac apps.

        Microsoft supports my Apple hardware better than Apple does! That’s a disgrace.

        1. The fact remains that Microsoft creates and SELLS a 32 bit product because they know there are a lot of customers that depend on 32-bit apps that won’t even install in a 64 bit system (because their installers were 16 bit) or depend on cheaper 32-bit hardware. If this wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t offer it. The fact that you don’t have any issues does not mean that the situation doesn’t exist 🙂

          Microsoft ABSOLUTELY supports a wider range of hardware with their OS than Apple does. Because they sell an OS, it makes sense that they make it so that as many people as possible can buy it. Apple’s OS is free, subsidized by the hardware sales. So, for many unfortunate folks, support is cut off after a number of years. Disgraceful AND business as usual.

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