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Screenshot Clifford Colby/CNET

Got a favorite old app on your Mac that you wouldn’t dream of giving up? Prepare yourself because with the upcoming release of MacOS Catalina, the OS will run just 64-bit apps because Apple is turning off the ability to run 32-bit software.

The move to 64-bit only apps for MacOS has been in the works for years, and Apple has been helping developers transition their 32-bit apps over the 64-bit. And as part of the transition, Apple last year started requiring all apps in the App Store to be 64-bit.

If you regularly update your apps or use ones just from the App Store, you most likely will be fine. But if you’re holding onto an old favorite — like Microsoft Office 11 for the Mac — that the developer isn’t looking to update, you’ll need to decide whether to move to Catalina and lose access to the app or not update and keep using the old software.

Here’s how to check if you’ll lose access to apps with the Catalina update.


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1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.

2. Select About This Mac

3. Click System Report.

4. Scroll down to the Software section and click Applications.

5. On the right, you’ll see a list of apps and a column labeled 64-Bit (Intel). If any of those apps have a No in that column, it means they’re not 64-bit apps, so you’ll need to update them or find a replacement before you get the MacOS Catalina update.

There’s still time for developers to update their 32-bit apps to 64-bit. But if there isn’t an update and you want to keep the app, you’ll want to stick with the MacOS you are currently running and not move MacOS Catalina.

Need more info about the MacOS Catalina update? Here’s how to check if your Mac will work with Apple’s MacOS update this fall.

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