Apple Will No Longer Accept 32-Bit Only Mac Apps, Starting Next Week

Apple Will No Longer Accept 32-Bit Only Mac Apps, Starting Next Week
Image: Fritzchens Fritz / Flickr

As it did with iOS, Apple is moving away from 32-bit applications on its desktop platform. To this end, macOS 10.13.4, currently in beta, will warn users when they run a 32-bit app and in just a few days, Apple will actively reject programs without 64-bit executables submitted to the Mac App Store.

As Samuel Axon over at Ars Technica reports, the release notes for the 10.13.4 beta contain the following tidbit:

To prepare for a future release of macOS in which 32-bit software will no longer run without compromise, starting in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, a user is notified on the launch of an app that depends on 32-bit software. The alert appears only once per app.

In addition, Apple’s developer site posted this reminder a few days ago:

Starting January 31, new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018. If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS.

Apple has been fairly consistent with its warnings, writing similar missives in June and December of last year.

As Apple remarks, this isn’t just for programs distributed purely via the Mac App Store; developers releasing outside the company’s ecosystem (for example, games on Steam) should provide 64-bit executables as soon as possible, lest they get caught out.

Reminder: 64-bit Requirement for Mac Apps [Apple, via Ars Technica]


  • Windows and Linux – Still support 32 bit apps.

    What logic is there in Apple removing support for 32 bit apps?. How does it harm them keeping legacy support?

    • You will need to buy new apps to replace the 32bit apps that no longer work and from what I can find apple take around a 30% cut from sales in the app store.

      • Yes, that’s it. Just another step in Apples plan to take over the world.

        For those who don’t wear tin foil hats there are some more technical reasons.

        The OS has to have seperate libaries or interfaces to libraries for 32 bit and 64 bit apps. This makes it bigger, more complicated and more difficult to maintain. Removing 32 bit code from the OS will reduce its disk and memory use, improve performance and energy efficiency, and reduce development and testing overheads. Same for hardware. 64 bit OS means cpus can be 64 bit only as well. This removes silicon and makes cpus faster and more efficient.

        Given developers have known this was coming for years now the only apps that will no longer work are those that are abandoned.

        • Efficiency is not a good sale, 64bit apps are larger and sometimes performance can be less than a 32bit compiled version.
          The only benefit is if you need access to larger memory, which the iPhone doesn’t have.

    • It’s an interesting step. I’m not an macOS user, but I’d imagine Apple’s rationale is possibly on the lines of;

      – Simplifying and decreasing the OS footprint, ie: fewer libraries/binaries, patched and vulnerabilities, and
      – getting devs to resubmit their apps to once again vet their code and weed out junk/bad actors

      Outside the app store, I’d imagine other apps such as open-source, freeware and commercial 32 bit compiled apps ‘should’ just work, for now…

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