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How to Tell if Your Mac is 32-bit or 64-bit

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Apple MacOS pop-ups warn that forthcoming updates could disable 32-bit apps

And now, pop-up warnings are appearing on users' Macs in the latest High Sierra update whenever they launch a 32-bit app, warning them that they will soon cease working.

macOS has been 64-bit and 32-bit since 2005, and generally speaking if you purchased a new Mac in 2007 or later, its processor is 64-bit. At the time, the company said it planned to transition its desktop OS to 64-bit just as it did iOS with iOS 11, noting macOS High Sierra would be the last macOS version to run 32-bit apps "without compromise". This gives them time to prepare accordingly, though 32-bit apps will continue to run and function properly for the time being.

The 32-bit phase-out on macOS follows the complete transition to 64-bit apps on the iPhone, though there Apple has more control due to the App Store.

Apple is transitioning into 64-bit territory simply because apps built under this architecture are much easier to maintain, and perhaps because these apps are far more efficient than their 32-bit counterparts.

From the Apple menu, choose About This Mac, then click the System Report button.

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Your app will still work after the alert appears; the main goal of the alert is to encourage users to update the app to a current 64-bit version.

Apple has already begun rejecting 32-bit apps submitted to the Mac App Store. The same support page linked to above states that "all future Mac software will eventually be required to be 64-bit". "Using 32-bit software has no adverse effects on your data or your computer".

There's no harm in using 32-bit apps, but Apple wants developers to utilize modern hardware features that only work with 64-bit apps. Even so, it's not likely Apple will immediately cut off support willy-nilly. The information will be displayed only once and won't include any mention of if or when exactly Apple will nix 32-bit application support from its operating system, according to Computerworld.

"Starting with macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, apps that have not been updated to use 64-bit processes produce a one-time alert when opened".

Despite that, a fair few apps for macOS still do not have 64-bit versions. "This app needs to be updated by its developer to improve compatibility". Presently, the App Store does not accept submissions of 32-bit apps for macOS.

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