Moving to Catalina: Keep Your 32-Bit Mac Apps Running with Parallels

Thanks so much for this good advice, Mark. It’s too bad to have to be the bearer of bad news. I guess I’m just going to have to crank up the ancient MBP whenever I have to use something in the suite, and keep my fingers crossed that it stays alive.

After updating to Catalina, I installed Parallels 15.1 and El Capitan in order to run several older apps. I especially needed to run Abyss web server, Dreamweaver CS6 and Panorama Enterprise 6 for development work for clients - even as most are transitioning to Panorama X.

The VM is working great. Once I’m settled in I’m likely to upgrade the OS to Sierra and stop there.

Does it let you work full screen? Or at least in a decent sized window?

I’ve done VMBox with SL and I think I was limited by the resolution of the OS


On my MacBook Pro, it is running full screen. I’m not sure if that’s due to something I did or if the software did it. Others on the Parallels forum are asking how to get it full screen.

That’s not a very complete answer, but for sure, it does run full screen.

FWIW, demoing Fusion I was not able to get it to full screen. I suspect it’s doable though.

Thanks! I really think my issue was the screen resolution of the OS but I never really researched it. It runs in a really small screen on a 21” iMac! I ended up putting the 2 pieces of software back on my 2008 MacBook.


Thanks for this article, Glenn. Dealing with how to keep using Quicken 2007 has been on my “to do” list before allowing the update to Catalina on my MBP. However, I’ve hit a snag. I have Mojave running in a VM, got the Parallels toolbox installed and was able to copy the Quicken app over. But, I could not find the preferences file, and the VM Quicken won’t open my Quicken data file: either in the shared folder or when copied into the Documents folder in the VM. Suggestions? I’m searching the Parallels forum for ideas, but haven’t found one yet.

I have macOS Mojave 10.14.6 installed on my host iMac running Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign CS6. They work perfectly on my host machine. I want to update to Catelina, but want to be sure that my productivity will the the same if I try to run these off of Parallels. I installed the same version of Mojave and the same Adobe CS6 applications, exactly the same versions with all their updates.

Adobe Photoshop CS 6 worked perfectly and was snappy with no lag at all, I was really excited. I tried Illustrator - it crashes the moment to loader starts. InDesign loads much further, but crashes as soon as the desktop app loads with the open file modal.

I contact Parallels a few times, and the did a remote test to see if they can get it to work - no luck yet. We did a safe mode reboot of my boot machine, and Illustrator and InDesign worked just fine. The Parallels support member wanted to be sure it wasn’t something to do with graphic 3d rendering or something.

We tried to do a safe mode reboot of Parallels MacOS Mojave, with no luck. I tried to Enabling Safe Boot from Terminal of Mac OS X with no luck - I kept getting an error in terminal. SO no luck there.

Has anyone been able to get this working? Any suggestions? The Parallels support team have escalated my ticket, so hopefully they can solve it - but hoping someone on here has been able to solve this issue.

Thanks again for your help!

Is CS6 safe? Or are they planning to kill it off the same way?

Is there a way to run the MacOS app in the guest OS from the MacOS host OS, or vice versa? It seems possible with Windows / MacOS, but I don’t see the option for MacOS / MacOS. This makes it much harder to use both efficiently.

Certainly. In Parallels Desktop 15 Pro, scroll right twice in the “Free Systems” section of Create New to install macOS from the Recovery Partition.

Adobe CS products: “but there’s no way to register it on a new one so it won’t run there.”

Best bet is to use migration assistant or CCC to move your current set up to the virtualized one.

1 Like

Like you, David, I have been unable to get Quicken 2007 running under Mojave VM, just getting the same message, “unable to load file.” Have you found a solution? Any advice would be appreciated!

Hi, Joekruetz. Yes, I moved Quicken Backup Folder from my Documents folder to the Documents Folder of my Mojave guest VM. That seemed to do the trick! I now have my necessary 32-bit apps running on the Mojave VM and was able to install Catalina as the host OS about two weeks ago. My only disappointment has been that I wanted to run Paperless on both guest and host OS’s, by linking the guest OS Paperless app to the Paperless library on the host OS. So far, that hasn’t worked too well. But otherwise, I’m happy.

FYI that 1-year to use Parallels is on sale as part of a bundle via MacHeist. The bundle was $36, after a discount code, but may be $60 usually.

I just bought a new iMac and it has Mohave installed. How do I get an installer? Is it somewhere? I am also still running Quicken 007. I cannot upgrade my old iMac, so cannot get the installer that way. Thanks.

If you already have Mojave you don’t really need a Mojave installer, unless you want to make a USB installer for offline use.

If you do want an installer, just use the link provided macappstore:// which will bring you to the Mac App Store. Click the “Get” button which will open System Preferences and ask if you really want to download it. Confirm that and it should start to download.

Just click on the link you quoted or use the one that @tjluoma gave (they take you to the exact same place) and click “Get”. When the download finishes it will automatically launch the installer and you’ll see the splash screen. At that point, quit the installer and you’ll find “Install macOS Mojave” in your /Applications folder.

Did you mean that your new Mac has Catalina installed? I thought Quicken could still still run under Mojave (pronounced Mohave :slight_smile: - just not when it is a Virtual Machine in Parallels.
As reported near the start of these discussions a new Mac with Catalina installed is unlikely to be able to be “downgraded” to a previous macOS, possibly due to graphics driver issues. But it may be worth a try.

Sorry to reopen this old thread, but I find myself with a curious problem. I bought a 16" MBP, which of course runs Catalina. I want to continue to use Office 2011, as I have been doing, and continue to do, under Mojave on other Macs (I have a fetish for some of its features which seem to have been removed from more recent versions), so I installed Parallels, created a VM and installed Mojave, then installed the latest updates from Apple. I downloaded Office 2011 from MS and ran the installer.

When I launch any of the components (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), they show me the initial splash screen and then the document palette, but each of them then crashes immediately if I try to go any further. The same applies if I try to open an existing document: it loads, flashes quickly on the screen and then crashes. I’ve installed the latest Office updates, but it’s made no difference.

I’m mystified: this is a clean install of Office onto a clean install of Mojave.

Any suggestions gratefully received, as ever.


You should be able to, but…

It is my understanding that both Parallels and VMWare Fusion enforce Apple’s license terms. All versions of Mac OS X up to Snow Leopard (10.6) include license terms that prohibit virtualization of the desktop version, only allowing the server version to run in VMs.

So, if you want to run Snow Leopard in a VM (without hacking your installation to bypass the license checks), then you need to get the server edition. Fortunately, it is still possible to purchase Snow Leopard Server on DVD from Apple if you phone them up and provide the correct product number. I’m sure someone here or some web searching can help you with that part.

(FWIW, this restriction went away in Lion (10.7), since Apple pretty much eliminated the server edition, choosing instead to make Server an add-on from the App Store.)

1 Like