Apple released a beta version of MacOS Mojave at the beginning of June 2018, so for now we wouldn’t expect people to be running mission critical apps in Mojave. But what about when the final version of Mojave arrives this autumn? Before they update, Mac users will want to confirm that the apps they use from developers like Adobe, Microsoft, Avid and even Apple itself, will work with the new operating system.

You won’t be able to run incompatible software on Mojave – some apps will be disabled when you upgrade to the new macOS. However, it is possible that some apps will work, but the developers may decide not to support them (preferring you to upgrade to a newer version), while other apps may not run as well as they did in older versions of the Mac operating system.

In this article we will describe an easy way to check compatibility with macOS Mojave, so you can be sure that the apps you use will work with Mojave when it launches. We will also run through those apps that are known not to be compatible with Mojave and offer solutions to those readers who need to run unsupported apps but don’t want to miss out on the new features in MacS Mojave.

How to find apps that won’t work with Mojave

Apple indicated back in June 2017 that macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) would be the last Mac operating system to support 32-bit apps “without compromise”. Since April 2018 Mac users running High Sierra have been seeing warnings if they tried to open a 32-bit app stating that the app ‘is not optimised for your Mac’.

The warning indicated that: “This app needs to be updated by its developer to improve compatibility”.

If you are seeing such a warning it’s a good indication that the app you are using will not work in Mojave.

MacOS High Sierra users are still able to open these 32-bit apps, but if seeing such a warning has left you concerned about the future of apps you rely on, you are right to worry. While Apple won’t delete these 32-bit apps when users install macOS Mojave, those apps will no longer run.

Therefore the first thing to do is to check whether any of the apps you are currently using on your Mac are 32-bit.

How to check for 32-bit apps on a Mac

If you want to get ready for the transition to 64-bit apps this autumn, you can check to see if any of your apps are 32-bit now. Here’s how to use MacOS to identify 32-bit apps:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the left corner of your Mac screen.
  2. Choose About This Mac.
  3. Click on System Report.
  4. Now click on Software > Applications.
  5. Look to see whether the apps you use are listed as 64-bit application in the final column.
  6. Any apps that are listed as 32-bit may stop working if you update to macOS 10.14 when it launches in September 2018.
  7. Click on the column that’s headed ’64-Bit’ to see which apps aren’t ready for the transition.

Which Mac apps are 32-bit?

Here are some other non-64-bit applications that may be a cause for concern, we address these and others below:

  • Adobe Illustrator CS5
  • Abobe InDesign CS5
  • Microsoft Excel 2011
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
  • Microsoft Outlook 2011
  • Microsoft Word 2011

Apple isn’t ending support for these 32-bit apps just to spite you. The company has a webpag dedicated to explaining its reasons to stop support for 32-bit apps on the Mac. Essentially, Apple believes these legacy apps won’t offer a good user experience because they slow down your Mac.

The company explains that 64-bit apps can access more memory and therefore you can expect faster system performance.

This isn’t the first time Apple has ended support for 32-bit apps – in 2017 the company ended support for 32-bit apps in iOS 11.

By the time Mojave launches this autumn, many of those developers who don’t yet have 64-bit versions of their apps will have made the update from 32-bit. If not, then it’s probably time to consider switching to a more modern app, or upgrading to a newer version of the app if there is one.

Which Apple apps won’t work in Mojave?

It’s not only third-party developers who’s apps won’t work in MacOS Mojave though. Even Apple has a collection of older apps that will no longer work – so if you are still using them it might be time to update to a newer version, or to switch to something else.

Aperture

Aperture 3, released in 2010, was the first 64-bit version of Aperture, and the last version of Aperture.

If you have an older version of Apple’s pro photo solution that it discontinued back in 2014, it won’t run in Mojave. If you have Aperture 3, it may run, but don’t expect it to be issue free, especially since Apple no longer supports the photography application.

iWork

If you are using an older version of Apple’s iWork apps – that’s Pages, Keynote and Numbers, you may need to upgrade.

All of the iWork ’09 applications (from 2009) are 32-bit. This could be an issue to those Mac users who prefer these legacy apps to the modern versions.

The first 64-bit iWork applications arrived with iWork 2013.

Final Cut Pro & Logic Studio

Apple used to bundle a number of apps with Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio.

Both of these apps have were discontinued and replaced by Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X in 2011, however, there are still people running them.

If you are running an older versions Final Cut Studio, note that DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Colour and Cinema Tools will not run (nor did they work in High Sierra).

  • Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4 – Update to the latest version of Final Cut Pro here
  • Motion 5.3.2 – Update to the latest version of Motion here
  • Compressor 4.3.2 – Update to the latest version of Compression here
  • Logic Pro X 10.3.1 – Update to the latest version of Logic here
  • MainStage 3.3 – Update to the latest version of MainStage here

Which Microsoft apps won’t work in Mojave?

If you are still running the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 apps (that’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook 2011) you might want to upgrade.

The 2011 versions are all 32-bit apps and Microsoft dropped support for the 2011 suite back in October 2017.

  • Word 2011
  • Excel 2011
  • PowerPoint 2011
  • Outlook 2011

Perhaps it’s time to upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Office – you can do so here.

The Office 2016 apps received 64-bit update in version 15.25 which arrived in August 2016. If you had Office 20916 and a Office 365 subscription you would have received the update. If you didn’t receive the update you may be able to download it here.

Which Adobe apps won’t work in Mojave?

Adobe has published a blog where it discussed 64-bit compatibility for its apps here.

In the blog, Adobe noted that “Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere Pro have moved their core codes to 64-bit starting in 2008.”

It goes on to confirm: “We are working to update shared components, including our application licensing technology.”

Adobe’s advice is to “install all Adobe-provided updates”.

What if you are running older versions of the Adobe apps (as some people who weren’t keen on updating to the Creative Cloud versions are). If that’s you it may be time to consider updating…

If you are still running older versions of the Adobe apps – perhaps you never upgraded from CS to CC – then you are likely to encounter some issues if you upgrade to macOS Mojave. You can update to the latest version of the Adobe suite here.

Illustrator

Illustrator CS5 is 32-bit and will not work in Mojave. The CS6 version of Illustrator in 2012 added 64-bit support, so if you are using a Illustrator CS6 or newer, you should be ok.

InDesign

InDesign CS5 (still lucking on our Mac from the days of print) is another 32-bit app that will stop working in Mojave. Unfortunately InDesign didn’t get updated to 64-bit until CC arrived, so that means if you are still using the CS6 version then you are out of luck as that’s 32-bit.

Acrobat Pro

Acrobat Pro 9.5.5 is another 32-bit app. There are known compatibility issues with Acrobat DC and Acrobat Reader DC and High Sierra “due to some 32-bit components that Adobe is working to address in the future,” says the company on a webpage regarding the issues.

Photoshop

Lucky for us (since it’s the version we are using) Photoshop CS5 is a 64-bit app (it was the first Adobe app to go 64-bit). So it should work in Mojave – although don’t expect Adobe to rush to fix any problems with it.

Lightroom

Lightroom has been 64-bit since Lightroom 2 arrived in 2008. Since Lightroom 6 arrived in 2015 the software has only run on 64-bit operating systems.

Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro moved to 64-bit back in 2008, that was Premiere Pro CS4, so chances are you are using a newer version than that.

After Effects

After Effects has been 64-bit since the CS5 version that arrived in 2010.

What can I do to make sure my apps continue to work?


Wondering what you can do to make sure that your apps don’t stop working later in 2018? Here are our tips:

  • Contact the app developer.
  • Don’t update to macOS 10.14 – the version of the MacOS that will follow High Sierra.
  • Run Mojave alongside an older version of MacOS so that you can switch operating systems when necessary.
  • Consider transitioning to a different app, or upgrading to a newer version.





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