Will you be able to run your favourite Mac software after September 2019?

What’s the problem?

The next version of macOS is due in September 2019 and it will be the biggest change to the Mac operating system since the release of OS X 10.7 ‘Lion’ in 2011.

MacOS 10.15 ‘Catalina’ will not support any Macs made before 2012 and will not run old (32-bit) software. 

Apple’s website has a preview of macOS Catalina:


A screenshot from that site shows supported hardware.

The software issue could be a very serious problem for many people. We will all have had warnings for the past year that some of our software’s out of date. But the crunch will come when we move to macOS Catalina.

Will I be affected?

MacOS Catalina will support only 64-bit software (no more 32-bit software!). Leaving aside the technical aspects, it’s easy to ascertain which of your software will be affected.

Method 1 – Go64

St. Clair Software has ‘Go64’ (https://www.stclairsoft.com/Go64/), a free application that will look at the software on your machine and identify the 32-bit software including links to the developers’ websites.

Method 2 – System Report

You don’t need to install an app: you could just use Apple’s built-in System Report. The process is slightly more involved but the System Report also shows you when the software was last modified.

Here’s how to get that…

Go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac; then, click the button, System Report… . In the sidebar, scroll down to Software and choose Applications. Wait while the info is gathered (it might take a few minutes). Click the column 64-bit and look at all the software marked ‘No’. These will be the affected software items. 

What can I do about this?

Now, you’ll have to decide whether you can:

a. find a software update via the developer. If it’s available, this is the easiest and best solution!

b. find software that will replace it. The challenge here is finding software that’s fully compatible. If you can’t find software that’s compatible, you will you have to work out how read all of the files that you created with that software. Note: it might be an option to export it in a format that can be read by another program.

c. live without this software and all of the files that you created with it! That’s an ugly reality for some of the software that I use.

Clearly, there’s some homework to be done before that next macOS update!

Of course, you need not update immediately macOS Catalina is released: macOS Mojave will be supported until September 2021.

But you might find macOS Catalina’s new features to be irresistible before then.