What 32 bit apps do I have?

Thought I would post this here in case there are people who do not see it on the (so to be dead) mailing-list:

To find all the 32-bit apps on your computer, open up a terminal and paste this in:

system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType | grep -A2 "64-Bit.*No" | grep Location`

Explanation of how it works:

  1. system_profiler: the command line version of “System Information”
  2. SPApplicationsDataType: We only want to know about Apps.
  3. grep -A2 “64-Bit.*No”: Look for a line with “64-bit(anything)No” and return it and the 2 lines After
  4. grep Location: find the lines with “Location” and echo that line only.

sample output:
Location: /Users/lbutlr/Downloads/LCC Installer.app
Location: /Applications/CardMinder/CardMinder.app
Location: /Applications/DVD Player.app
Location: /Applications/Clarify.app
Location: /Applications/Steam.app
Location: /System/Library/Frameworks/QuickLook.framework/Versions/A/Resources/quicklookd32.app
Location: /Applications/ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap/ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap.app


For those following along… there’s an extraneous backtick at the end of the original… removing that makes it work.
It can take a minute or two to run, so be patient :smile:

Yikes… over 200 on my Mac. Time to go see what needs replacing and deleting!



Thanks for these instructions. I’ve printed out the list and will go through it to see what needs updating and what needs deleting.

Is there an advantage to using this method instead of clicking About This Mac > System Report > Software > Applications?


Not really… the method you describe works just as well.

Using the System Report application shows ALL the applications, this shows only the ones that are not 64 bit.

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Some systems (like mine, a late 2007 iMac with 12GB RAM) are so old and slow, the normal method times out before it can list all the apps. Alternately, you can just run the System Information app in your Utilities folder directly and bypass going through “About This Mac.”

Or, just hold down the Option-key and select “System Information” from the Apple menu to avoid navigation to your Utility Folder and “About this Mac”.


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The word is missing but yes, holding the Option key when you click the Apple menu makes the first menu option change from “About this Mac” to “System Information.”

Another lesson learned.

Don’t use angle brackets (less than / more than symbols) here.


You can, you just have to escape them. A backslash \ before will do it, or you can use the HTML entities < (%lt ; ) and &gt ( &gt ; ) > without the space after the t. you can also put it in backticks, which will make it look like a code snippet <option> for example. Or, you could just use the ⌥ symbol, of course, and avoid all the angle brackets entirely.

Yeah, that’s because you can format with HTML, so bracketing anything makes Discourse think it’s a tag. You can even start a bracket, type something, and see it disappear from the preview when you close the bracket.

I’ve edited the original to eliminate the confusion.

I just saw a classmate’s brand new MBP has that symbol on the Option key instead of “alt.” It’s not on my 2016 MBP. I think very few people know what ⌥ represents, having “alt” is helpful for people using Windows on their Mac (Boot Camp, running a virtual machine, using RDP, etc.)

⌥ has been in the Mac Menus for a long long time, and has always been called “option”. “Alt” is a Windows thing, and the Windows key is nothing like the Mac key. For Windows it is simply another key to use in place of control, but on the Mac it is often used to extend a command or access special characters (⌥-~ and n produces ñ, ⌥-u and o produces ö, etc). I’m not sure when Apple started adding it to keyboards, but I’m pretty sure it was in the menus of Mac OS 8, if not earlier.

If you call it “Alt” Mac users will understand you, but will regard you as a Windows user.

On that new MBP, surely the key has both the ⌥ symbol and “alt”, right? It’s the world “option” which is gone. I think Apple did this to avoid the constant need for people to ask “What key do I press to make that keyboard shortcut which the dropdown menu says is ⌥⌘B or whatever”.

Actually it’s the opposite – on my 2017 MBP at least, the key has the option symbol and the word “option.”

Previous models had the words “alt” (where the option symbol is now) and “option.”


Thanks for that info, I seem to be behind events. I see the magic keyboard is now shown this way too, alt is gone.

On international keyboards (well, UK ones at least), the ⌥ has been on the keyboard as long as I can remember. This is a 2013 MacBook Air, but all keyboards I can remember have been like this (⌥ & alt being printed on the key).

Not there on a US mid 15 rMBP.