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Apr 17, 2020 More importantly, if you’re looking to buy a new Mac, it will come with Catalina pre-installed. 32-bit games are gone for good Steam on Catalina known issues. Steam is an essential part of gaming on a Mac. Chances are most of your games are Steam. This is why the current state of Steam on macOS Catalina is a shame. Visit our list of games compatible with macOS Catalina. Check back often as we’ll be adding games to this list regularly. Find the game you’d like to play, open the Game Manager and click on the Mac Games tab (or the Purchase History tab if you have already purchased the game). Search for a game from the list of compatible titles.
- There is, seriously, nothing you can do about games developers who haven't moved to 64-bit binaries. Barring a virtual machine or something else drastic, those games won't work under Catalina.
- macOS Catalina gives you more of everything you love about Mac. Experience three all-new media apps: Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts. Locate a missing Mac with the new Find My app. And now coming to Mac, your favorite iPad apps. You can even extend your desktop using iPad as a second displ.
Yes, the Steam client itself is 64-bits, and most of your games probably are too, but if you've had an install for a while, your client is probably only 32-bit. Here's how to make sure you've got a Steam client compatible with macOS Catalina.
What is happening with 32-bit Mac apps? Apple is dropping support for 32-bit Mac applications in October with their release of macOS Catalina 10.15. See their support article here. Can I keep playing my Mac games that I purchased that are 32-bit? You will still have access to your 32-bit Mac games in your Steam Library.
You'll have to ask Valve why they can't always update your 32-bit Steam client app to the 64-bit version that will run under macOS Catalina. But, AppleInsider is repeatedly being asked by users why their install is yelling at them that it needs an update.
The update from Valve is ready, and the Steam client will work just fine under macOS Catalina — you just may have to prepare the ground a little.
Specifically, the problem is with the Steam client on your Mac. Even if you have shortcuts to your favorite games, they all launch through that Mac app, and it's possible that your copy of that is still a 32-bit app.
If you're stuck with that 32-bit version, you have to manually get rid of it and then reinstall a new copy.
One quick tip: do be certain to have your Steam account name and password to hand. You clicked that Remember Me button years ago, but this is going to appear to Steam as if you're setting up a new computer.
You'll have to be able to log in again, and you'll have to have access to email to get the verification codes that you'll be sent.
When you're sure you have the account details, start with this:
- Quit Steam
- Go to your Applications folder
- Drag Steam out to the Trash
If you have Hazel installed on your Mac, it will spot that you've removed an application and will offer to also delete all of that app's supporting files. As good as that is, as so much handier it is than going through the whole process of deleting them manually, don't let Hazel do it.
That's because Hazel will do too good a job and it'll remove everything. We want rid of a lot of Steam, but not the bit that includes your games.
So next, you find all of Steam's supporting files from the Finder.
Hold Shift, Command and press G. In the Go to Folder dialog that appears, enter this: ~/Library/Application Support/ and click Go.
In the folder that opens, scroll to find the Steam folder, and delete everything in there except /steamapps. That directory is where your games live, and keeping that folder preserves the installs.
Next, repeat that Go to Folder with each of the following. In every one, look for Steam or Valve files.
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- ~/Library/Saved Application State/
Do be careful to solely select Steam or Valve folders, but then drag them to the Trash and empty it.
Now go to store.steampowered.com where you'll see an Install Steam button at the top right of the site.
Work through the steps it tells you. Then log back in to your Steam account, and you're done.
There is, seriously, nothing you can do about games developers who haven't moved to 64-bit binaries. Barring a virtual machine or something else drastic, those games won't work under Catalina. But at least taking these steps now will save you having that awful moment when you've updated to Catalina, the Steam client won't load at all, and it appears as if you've lost all your Steam games.
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When macOS Mojave was announced, Apple warned that it would be the last version of macOS that would support older 32-bit apps. Apple has been phasing out 32-bit apps for the last 10 years and is now ready to take the final step, even if Mac users may not be ready to lose access to older apps.
With the release of macOS Catalina, 32-bit app support is no longer available, which means many of your older apps will no longer work if they haven't been updated to 64-bit.
32-bit vs. 64-bit
32-bit apps date back to a time when there were 32-bit processors and 32-bit operating systems, but are now outdated. Apple has long since transitioned to 64-bit processors and macOS has been 64-bit since the launch of Snow Leopard in 2009.
Compared to 32-bit apps, 64-bit apps can take advantage of more memory and offer faster system performance. Apple technologies like Metal only work with 64-bit apps, and for Apple to ensure that Mac apps include all of the latest advancements and optimizations, support for 32-bit needs to end. In the simplest terms, 32-bit apps are inefficient.
Fresh stuff 4 you. 32-bit apps can run on a 64-bit system as they've been doing for years, but Apple wants to get rid of outdated apps to make sure everything that runs on the Mac is properly optimized and isn't an unnecessary drain on system resources.
Apple started warning Mac users about plans to end support for 32-bit apps back with macOS High Sierra. In High Sierra, users started getting warnings about a 32-bit app's future incompatibility with macOS.
A similar message was available in macOS Mojave, and if you opened up a 32-bit app while running Mojave, you saw an alert letting you know a specific app wouldn't work with future versions of macOS unless it was updated.
Alerts re-appeared every 30 days when launching an app, with Apple aiming to make sure customers would not be caught unaware when a 32-bit app stopped working in the future, so you should already know if one of your frequently used apps hasn't been upgraded to 64-bit.
Upon updating to macOS Catalina, you'll be shown a list of 32-bit apps that no longer work on your system.
How to Check if an App is 32-Bit or 64-Bit in macOS Mojave
To determine whether an app is 64-bit or 32-bit and to see if there are 32-bit apps installed on your machine before upgrading to macOS Catalina, follow these steps:
- Click the Apple symbol () in the menu bar on your Mac's desktop.
- Click on About This Mac.
- Choose 'System Report' at the bottom of the window.
- Scroll down to the Software list on the sidebar.
- Select Legacy Software.'
Anything in the list of Legacy Software applications is a 32-bit app and will not work when upgrading to macOS Catalina.
If Legacy Software isn't an option in the sidebar, select the Applications option and then check the list of apps at the right. The column that's labeled 64-bit will show a 'No' listing for apps that are 32-bit.
How to Prepare to Update to macOS Catalina
The first step is to make sure there aren't already available updates for apps that you have on your system, which you can generally do by updating through the Mac App Store for Mac App Store apps.
Apps outside of the Mac App Store use other update methods that can vary by app, but for many, you can click on the app's name in the menu bar and choose the 'Check for Updates' option. Some other apps have more hidden update methods, so if you do have a 32-bit app, make sure to Google how to update it to be sure there's not already new software available.
After ensuring you've updated everything you're able to update, you can contact developers and ask them to update their apps, but if that doesn't pan out, the only other solution is to start the search for an alternative app if you're committed to upgrading to macOS Catalina or have already done so.
32-Bit App Warnings When Installing Catalina
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When upgrading to macOS Catalina, the installer will show a list of recently used apps that are 32-bit so you know what to expect before installing.
After viewing this list, you can choose to either cancel or continue with the installation.
macOS Catalina also shows a stop symbol over the icon of 32-bit apps in the Finder, so you know that the app isn't going to open.
With the release of macOS Catalina, Aperture is going to stop working. Apple warned Aperture users in April 2019 that the software won't run in future versions of macOS, starting with macOS Catalina.
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If you're an Aperture user, you'll have to transition to alternate photo editing and management software, such as Adobe's Lightroom. Aperture is not 32-bit, but Apple is phasing it out all the same.
Affected Media Formats
Certain media files that use older formats and codecs are also not compatible with macOS after macOS Mojave due to the 64-bit transition, and you will need to convert some iMovie and Final Cut Pro X libraries. Incompatible media files were created using codecs that rely on QuickTime 7, and while macOS Mojave has QuickTime 7 frameworks, future versions of macOS will not.
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Apple has a full list of media formats that are going to be affected by the transition available in a support document.
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Continuing to Use 32-Bit Apps
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In macOS Mojave and earlier versions of macOS like High Sierra, you can continue to use your 32-bit apps. If you have a 32-bit app that you absolutely depend on, you're going to want to think twice before upgrading to macOS Catalina.
Have questions about the end of support for 32-bit apps or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.