Catalina marked the end of 32-bit apps for macOS, something Apple had provided over a decade of transition help with and two years of warnings about for consumers. Nonetheless, people with older. “In an advisory on Dev Center yesterday, the Cupertino giant announced that macOS High Sierra will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps ‘without compromise,'” Zibreg reports.
Apple began transitioning to 64-bit hardware and software technology for Mac over a decade ago, and all modern Macs now include powerful 64-bit processors that can run advanced 64-bit apps. These apps can access dramatically more memory, enable faster system performance, and take advantage of technologies that define today's Mac experience.
Apple has been working with developers to transition their apps, and in 2018 Apple informed them that macOS Mojave would be the last version of macOS to run 32-bit apps. Starting with macOS Catalina, 32-bit apps are no longer compatible with macOS.
You will see one of these alerts when attempting to open a 32-bit app:
[app name] needs to be updated.
The developer of this app needs to update it to work with this version of macOS. Contact the developer for more information.
[app name] is not optimized for your Mac and needs to be updated.
This app will not work with future versions of macOS and needs to be updated to improve compatibility. Contact the developer for more information.
When installing macOS, you may see a list of recently used apps that are 32-bit. You can review this list before deciding to continue installation. You may also see a prohibitory symbol over the icon of each 32-bit app in the Finder, letting you know that the app will not open.
For all 32-bit apps, please contact the developer of the app to learn whether an updated version of their software is available or planned.