Mac users: Oct 2018 some of your applications might not work anymore (but which?)

Last Friday Apple reminded everyone that “the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise is macOS High Sierra”:

What does that mean?

It probably means: When you upgrade to the next version of MacOS, which Apple will most likely release end of September 2018, that some or all of your 32 bit applications will not work correctly. Or will not work at all. Or continue to work.

As Apple has not shared more detail than what you can read above, it’s hard to predict how much 32-bit applications will be affected. Currently we just know that they will be affected.

What are your options?

So if you still have 32-bit applications that are crucial for your workflow, you have three options:

  1. Stay on your current version of MacOS:
    As Apple typically provides security patches for the current AND the last two previous version of MacOS, you will be safe using Sierra or High Sierra for 1-2 years from Oct 2018 onwards. Then you need to revisit the other two options:
  2. Virtualize your current MacOS:
    Use a virtualization service to install your current version of MacOS in a virtual machine that you can launch. Three examples are Parallels, VMware Fusion or Virtual Box. Downside of course is the additional overhead and the performance impact.
    And you should not connect the virtual machine to the network/Internet once Apple doesn’t provide security patches for it anymore.
    Virtualization might be the only way though if you are using applications that your clients still use. Or where the application is not further developed and there’s no alternative on the market.
  3. Upgrade your 32-bit application to a newer version being 64-bit or use a different application that’s 64-bit:
    For example, upgrade QuarkXPress 9 to at least QuarkXPress 2015. Or upgrade Photoshop CS5 to at least CS6. Or switch to a different image editing application like Affinity Photo.

You still have until September 2018 to make up your mind. Just don’t wait until the last second.

How to find out which of your applications are still 32-bit?

To find out which applications might be affected, you need to find out which applications are not yet 64-bit. Here’s how to easily find out:

  1. Hold the option key, go to Apple menu and choose the first menu item (now called “System Information…”)
  2. In the sidebar of System Information navigate down to “Software > Applications” and select it.

  3. Wait for a few seconds (time depends on how many applications you have installed)
  4. You will see all applications installed. Click on the column “64 Bit” to sort for “No”

Now you will see ALL applications that are not yet 64-bit as well as – further down – all applications that are already 64-bit.

Which version of QuarkXPress is 64-bit?

QuarkXPress 7, 8, 9 and 10 are not 64-bit.

QuarkXPress 2015, 2016 and 2017 are 64-bit.


On Jule 4, 2018, Apple showed this screen:

So if you are using 32-bit software, you will have one more year.