Howard Oakley solves all your Mac hardware, software and iOS issues
QWill macOS Mojave be able to run 32-bit apps – I have several I can’t update. If not, could I run them in a macOS ‘virtual machine’?
AMojave does run 32-bit apps, although the first time that you open them in Mojave it informs you that their days are numbered. Apple originally warned that High Sierra would be the last macOS to run 32-bit apps “without compromise”, though it didn’t explain exactly what that meant. In fact, Mojave will run 32-bit apps, but the next major version after it – 10.15, expected in late 2019 – is now the version that looks destined to kill off support for these older apps.
Should you encounter problems with apps, whether because they’re 32-bit or for some other technical reason – you should be able to set up a virtual machine (VM) running a previous macOS, such as High Sierra.
This is possible in Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion and Virtualbox – we detailed it for VMware Fusion in MacFormat #325 (p36). Another option is to create a dual-boot system using an external drive, but a VM means you can run those apps without restarting.
The need for 64-bit software extends beyond apps to all executable code: many older QuickTime components and plugins of all kinds on your system may be 32-bit. Several utilities can check this more deeply, including my 32-bitCheck (Free, eclecticlight.co).
When a macOS update stops important apps from running, consider installing a previous version in a virtual machine.