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macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 Displays Warnings When Opening 32-Bit Apps as Part of Apple's Phase Out Plan

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Starting with macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, Apple is commencing with its plan to begin phasing out 32-bit apps on Macs. Apple has promised that macOS High Sierra will be the "last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromises."

After installing macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, which is now available in a beta testing capacity, when you open up an app that's a 32-bit app, you'll get a warning about its future incompatibility with the macOS operating system.


This is the first of many warnings Apple plans to provide as it works to put an end to 32-bit Mac apps, and this initial warning will only be shown one time for each app.

Apple's efforts to phase out 32-bit apps on Macs mirror the path it took when ending 32-bit app support on iOS devices. In iOS 10, Apple provided increasingly more insistent warnings to let users know that their apps wouldn't work with future versions of iOS before phasing out 32-bit support entirely in iOS 11.

As of January 2018, all new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must be 64-bit, and all apps and app updates submitted must be 64-bit by June of 2018. The next version of macOS after High Sierra will include "aggressive" warnings about 32-bit apps before they are phased out entirely.

Once 32-bit apps are phased out on Macs, they won't be able to be used at all, so users will need to find replacements for older 32-bit apps that aren't likely to be updated to 64-bit.

Article Link: macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 Displays Warnings When Opening 32-Bit Apps as Part of Apple's Phase Out Plan
 
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xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
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Is there already a mac app that can emulate 32 bit apps on a 64 bit system? I have one for audio plugs called 32lives which I hope still works after this.
 
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ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
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Great. Hopefully it also fixes the broken networking, quickview, and everything else screwed up in High Sierra that makes it a pita.
 
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zorinlynx

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May 31, 2007
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I wonder why Apple has such a fetish for phasing out 32-bit code.

The CPU has NO PROBLEM executing 32-bit code, and there isn't even a performance hit in doing so. There's no real solid reason to discontinue 32-bit support. This is going to keep people who requires certain older apps from upgrading to the latest version of MacOS, and expose them to security vulnerabilities for no good reason at all.
 
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DavidDoyle

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2013
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So Compressor will finally go to 64-bit. Think that might be the last 32-bit Apple app in the store.

I know why it’s still 32-bit, but hope the change may result in some performance benefits.
 
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vicviper789

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Jun 5, 2013
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Kind of a bummer. My 2009 macbook pro only has 4gb of ram (2nd slot is broken). So I would effectively be down to 2gb..
 
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redheeler

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Oct 17, 2014
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About time. 32 bit apps are insecure, and are a relic from a time long-past.
Thankfully Apple has kept 32-bit support for longer on MacOS so apps have had more time to transition to 64-bit and fewer are affected by this decision, but I can still see users refusing to update to the next MacOS because their useful older software is going to break.
 
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keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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I wonder why Apple has such a fetish for phasing out 32-bit code.

The CPU has NO PROBLEM executing 32-bit code, and there isn't even a performance hit in doing so. There's no real solid reason to discontinue 32-bit support. This is going to keep people who requires certain older apps from upgrading to the latest version of MacOS, and expose them to security vulnerabilities for no good reason at all.

People said the same thing when they went from 16 bit to 32 bit. Honestly, they did. Stubbornness for change is just slowing down progress. Just look at the cluster that is Windows which still rocks Program Files x86 for legacy purposes.

Apple have always been happy to drop older standards. 32 bit is only the latest in a long list. They did this in iOS and they’ve already dropped 32 bit support/plug-ins years ago for their Pro Apps (LPX), so this shouldn’t come as much surprise.
 
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casperes1996

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The CPU has NO PROBLEM executing 32-bit code, and there isn't even a performance hit in doing so. There's no real solid reason to discontinue 32-bit support. This is going to keep people who requires certain older apps from upgrading to the latest version of MacOS, and expose them to security vulnerabilities for no good reason at all.


Running 32-bit code, means that you need to keep a 32-bit version of all the libraries and frameworks those apps may rely on. That's both storage, and more crucially RAM consuming. And there is in fact a performance hit to having 32-bit and 64-bit apps running on the same system, as opposed to if both were 64-bit. If they are both 64-bits they can share certain conditions giving the processor an ability to preemtptively execute that code more quickly.

32-bit support isn't free either. You need to test against your 32-bit libraries and if you update a 64-bit library for a security reason, you'll also need to update and test the corresponding 32-bit library. And it may behave differently.

Nvidia has stopped supporting 32-bit systems because the testing burden just got too big. A lot of Linux distros are killing 32-bit variants as well.

It's not worth the effort anymore.

Edited slightly to fix a typo and improve readability
 
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pgiguere1

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May 28, 2009
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I wonder why Apple has such a fetish for phasing out 32-bit code.

The CPU has NO PROBLEM executing 32-bit code, and there isn't even a performance hit in doing so. There's no real solid reason to discontinue 32-bit support. This is going to keep people who requires certain older apps from upgrading to the latest version of MacOS, and expose them to security vulnerabilities for no good reason at all.

The performance hit comes from the OS having to keep both a 32-bit and 64-bit version of shared libraries in RAM.
 
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Guy Clark

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Nov 28, 2013
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Thankfully Apple has kept 32-bit support for longer on MacOS so fewer apps are affected, but I can still see users refusing to update to the next MacOS because their useful older software is going to break.
Just keep using Snow Leopard complete 32-bit support and Rosetta for PPC apps plus pre iOS infestation.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
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I hope they make the affected apps easier to target. It was kind of buried when they did this in iOS.
 
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casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Easy just don't upgrade. I am sticking with macOS Sierra and going no further.

I personally have no problem with 32-bit dying. And I highly doubt Steam will not be updated first. Apple is colaborating with Valve, and using SteamVR for their VR support. Metal's VR support relies on SteamVR.

And how are we supposed to know which apps will be obsoleted before we start getting these warnings?

Well.... That's what the warnings are for. When you get the warning, the app still works perfectly. The warning is just telling you that that app won't work in some future update, probably 10.14 or maybe 10.15
You can also check Activity Monitor to see if your apps are 32-bit or 64-bit
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Why are they more insecure than 64-bit apps?


They don't inherently have to be, but if I were to make an argument for their insecurity it'd be this.

Firstly, they can't use as long encryption hashes, and secondly, since the focus is on 64-bit, the dependencies those 32-bit apps may have aren't necessarily as well tested.
 
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