What to do about 32-bit apps before updating to macOS Catalina

Gary Rosenzweig for MacMost:

After updating to macOS Catalina, old 32-bit apps will not longer work. If you have an old 32-bit app, then before updating, you should update your app or switch to a new one. Most apps have newer versions that professionals should consider buying. If you are using the app for casual purposes, then consider getting a modern alternative to apps like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. These will be cheaper or free, and will probably be much better than using an old outdated pro app. You can also keep an old Mac around to run 32-bit apps. Experts can partition their drive, use an external drive, or a virtual machine to run Mojave or earlier in some situations.

MacDailyNews Take: Do you have any 32-bit app issues outstanding? If so, which apps?


  1. I’ve used and enjoyed DragThing for many, many years but the application developer has indicated they will not be updating the app to 64-bit. I have yet to find a 64-bit app that has similar capabilities. I MAY not update to Catalina just because I don’t want to lose DragThing abilities.

  2. I have several. The ones I use most are Snail Mail (which is better for printing envelopes than MacOS’ Contacts), Thoth (newsgroup reader), pearLabelizer (label formatting and printing), MacBornes (game), and Quinn (game).

  3. I can’t do any of that. Adobe won’t sell me Flash. I’m not going to pay $20 a month for drawing tools that haven’t changed since the 1990s, but incomprehensibly, no one else has tools like that. I’m stuck on Sierra for good. Is there a Macintosh emulator for Catalina?

  4. I am one of Apple’s potential target audience with their refreshed focus on professional production. In my case, I (currently) produce orchestral work using a variety of DAWs (like Studio One, Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic) and notation programs (like Notion, Dorico and Sibelius).

    I use a variety of orchestral libraries to accomplish that work. Some are expensive in their own right running into the hundreds (or in the case of, say, VSL, thousands) of dollars. I also use some lighter less expensive libraries. Some are used standalone, some for blending. Each has their place.

    IK Multimedia’s Miroslav Philharmonik 1 is a 32-bit app.

    Back in 2016 they released Mirsolav 2, and that includes all the sounds from MP1 – and it’s 64-bit.

    But, it’s broken.

    It cannot be used with most notation programs (with the exception of Overture 5 which I do not use normally) as they do not allow for the alteration in start time of keyswitches. This is a mechanism by which the way a note plays is altered. E.g. on a violin from bowed to pizzicato.

    The basic issue is that the keyswitches trigger late in MP2 (and SampleTank 3 – another product based on the same engine).

    In a DAW, one can “fix” the issue by nudging all the keyswitches back a fraction – but this is a workaround of something that is broken and is a very specific fix. In other programs – notation programs – one cannot for the most part do that.

    I and others have contacted IK Multimedia about this. Over 18 months ago. The support tickets were closed without an answer. Examples and screenshots were provided.

    I contacted them again via Facebook in Dec 2018 and they said: “Have you placed a support ticket?” I copied the support ticket info. into the thread. They said they would raise it with the appropriate people.

    Heard nothing.

    About a month ago I asked again, especially when they were promoting MP2.

    More silence.

    That’s a broken product on the market for 3 years.

    What does one do when a company that has produced a 64-bit product – which I own a full license for already and want to use – does not fix it and closes support tickets silently? It’s been sitting largely unused since I bought it (pre-purchased it even).

    I like many others do not compose orchestral works in a DAW but in a notation program and then transfer to a DAW later for further work – the notated score being the canonical work which can also be given to a live orchestra to play (most live musicians don’t read MIDI and CC curves too well 😉 ). I’m quite happy working in a DAW – and writing MIDI and drawing CC curves directly, but I don’t compose orchestral works that way. Some do start with a DAW for orchestral work. I and others don’t.

    So, currently, I and others who do work this way with this product have no option but to continue to use MP1 via jBridge (which is a 32-bit to 64-bit bridging program for audio software) with various 64-bit notation programs.

    Now, sure, I use other sample libraries too – VSL, various Kontakt libraries, East-West and others, but there are things about MP1 that I and others like – not least of which is that it has mappings for Notion built-in to Notion. (I also use Sibelius, Finale, Dorico, Overture 5 and MuseScore – only O5 has a way of adjusting keyswitch entry times that would work with MP2).

    I cannot, yet, update from this 32-bit application on macOS – much as I want to and already have the 64-bit application – purchased with eagerness to use it out of the box…

    Sometimes … one is just … stuck.

    Kind regards

    Derek Jones.

  5. Users of iGetter will have to wait. With 18 months notification, the developer felt it wasn’t enough time to convert it over to 64bit. So it may be never because they aren’t willing to commit to an ETA and they are being sly about their current efforts.

    It’s basically the same situation with iOS. Some apps never got converted because the desire wasn’t there anymore. So the apps died.

    I would like to stick with what I like or know, just not always possible. The chances are it’s abandoned and the developer refuses to admit it.

    1. It wasn’t just 18 months notice. Apple sold its last Mac with a 32-bit processor 12 years ago. Developers were on notice then that they would eventually need to shift to a 64-bit codebase.

  6. Dream weaver for website editing. The monthly subscription option is way to expensive. Just need a basic WYSIWYG html program. Dreamweaver worked very well

  7. Also have this problem with some office suite, but I heard that WPS office is coming to Mac on August too, and it’s going to be a major game-changer for Mac users. https://apps.apple.com/app/wps-office/id1468073139?mt=12  Have been using it for years in my win system, hope it works well with Catalina this time.

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