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Catalina Quick Tip: How to See If an App Is Incompatible (Not 64-Bit)

macOS Catalina is 64-bit only. Apple has been phasing out 32-bit apps for years, and this operating system update takes the final step. You need to know which of your apps will work with Catalina and which ones don’t.

To see if a particular software program is 32-bit or 64-bit, click the Finder icon (the blue/white smiley face in the Dock). Click the Apple icon at the top left of your screen. Click “About This Mac.”

Screenshot of macOS Catalina "About this Mac" window

Then click System Report. Scroll down until you see “Applications.” Click on it. Look for the “Kind” description. If it doesn’t say 64-bit or 32/64-bit, you’ll probably run into some issues with it and Catalina. I suggest contacting the developer of the software to see if a 64-bit version is available or is in the works.

By the way, you can click the column tab to sort the apps and see all the “nos” in one group.

Screenshot of macOS Catalina Ayatem Information

Why did Apple go all-in on 64-bits with Catalina? Compared to 32-bit apps, 64-bit apps can take advantage of more memory and offer faster system performance. And, for example, Apple technologies like Metal only work with 64-bit apps.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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