Are we ready to drop 32-bit code yet?

“Apple may not have revealed its timetable for the removal of support for 32-bit software, but it has made it clear that it will happen, just as it did in iOS,” Howard Hoakley writes for Eclectic Light Company. “Mojave contains several tools to help us prepare.”

“New for Mojave is a section in System Information titled Legacy Software, which Apple claims details ‘all applications that have not been updated to use 64-bit processes,'” Hoakley writes. “I have no idea what criteria this uses for identifying apps, but it only ever reports a fraction of those which are known to be thoroughly 32-bit. For example, on this iMac with 335 known apps which are 32-bit only, it reports just 5: three support tools from Adobe, Apple’s Compressor, and a helper app for an old copy of QuarkXPress. It doesn’t notice that the whole of Adobe CS6 or Microsoft Office 2011 are also 32-bit apps, for example. Whatever this new Legacy Software item might think it’s doing, don’t even bother to look. It doesn’t make any sense, and will only mislead you into being complacent.”

“The situation with apps is fairly clear. Most of those left now have already been upgraded (Microsoft Office), or replaced by other apps (Adobe CS),” Hoakley writes. “Of much greater scale and concern are those code items which are not apps, but frameworks, plugins, and so on… Unless you have started with a ‘clean’ Mac in the last few years, it looks likely that a future 64-bit only release of macOS will still catch a great deal of software unawares.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, if you’ve got any older 32-bit apps upon which you depend, there’s already a 64-bit version available or in development. As for the rest of the 32-bit stuff – frameworks, plugins, etc. – unfortunately that might take a bit longer to modernize.

How to find which apps on your Mac are 32-bit – April 13, 2018
Mac users will start getting 32-bit app warnings today – April 12, 2018
Apple: High Sierra will be last macOS release to support 32-bit apps ‘without compromise’ – June 29, 2017


  1. Why is it such a great idea that Apple break our software? Yea, there is a new version that we can’t buy, only rent and pay forever, but what if that version doesn’t have any new features that we need?

    Why does it make sense that a Mac that can run Windows apps can’t run Mac apps? I saw zero speed or reliability improvements when I lost my PPC apps. This is just another money grab from Apple for their developers.

    1. Agreed! Unlike removing support for Classic, the case for ditching 32-bit support has not been made by Apple or anybody else.

      I can even mind if understand why Rosetta was dropped, but this? Nope.

  2. I will miss “DragThing”. I have been using that for years- for quick changing between open apps and for a quick visual of what was/is open. I sure wish James Thompson would make it into a 64bit app.

    1. Just don’t upgrade and you retain compatibility with whatever you’re using. It’s not hard to not upgrade. In fact not-upgrading is even easier than upgrading because you just have to not do something.

      That “something” being “upgrade”.

  3. I lost the use of my Bento database software that I used for inventory, and recipe collections when I installed Mojave. It would have been nice if Mojave told me what I was giving up so I could have prepared first.
    Also – my Icloud keeps asking me for an apple password every time I restart my computer.

    1. iCloud and password:
      I don’t have the answer, but mine did the same for a few days. That was a pain. I think it was a combination of System Prefs>Users & Groups setting in combination with iCloud. Got that straight after about 3 to 4 days.

  4. I’ve decided to stick with High Sierra because I can’t find a 64 bit quality subtitling programme to replace Subfix. That Apple hasn’t provided us with a “Rosetta” is in my opinion just another example of Apple’s arrogant treatment of its users.

    As a long term Apple user (25 years and counting) I find it appalling that the company treats its users this way. I even went so far as to look at Windows 10 and then was appalled at how kludgy it still is. In the mid to long term I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place with no where to go.

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