Go64 review: Free utility preps Mac users for 64-bit Catalina app-ocalypse

Quickly scans your internal drive for 32-bit applications that won’t be compatible after installing macOS Catalina and helps find potential upgrades to keep software working.

As you’ve probably heard, Apple is finally eliminating support for 32-bit Mac applications this fall. That means older software which hasn’t moved to 64-bit code won’t work on the latest macOS Catalina and although Cupertino has provided guidance on the impending “app-ocalypse,” identifying and taking action on affected apps is a hassle.

A free (donations accepted) Mac utility called Go64 aims to ease the 64-bit transition by performing a quick scan of your applications and creating an inventory of those where 32-bit code is still present. It’s fast and painless—Go64 took less than 45 seconds to scan 1,586 apps (?!) on my iMac Retina 5K startup disk.

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Go64 provides a more detailed look at which apps need updated or deleted before installing macOS Catalina.

Scanning code

Of those, about 150 apps were 32-bit only, many support apps from older Adobe Creative Suite installations. The remaining 45 were technically 64-bit, with minor dependencies on older 32-bit code. Such apps appear with a yellow warning in the 64-bit column and should work fine under Catalina. (That includes Apple’s Final Cut Pro X and Compressor 4, which are expected to be fully compatible by the time Catalina is released.)

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Many 64-bit apps include legacy 32-bit code, so Go64 displays a warning so there are no surprises.

Selecting an app with this warning displays additional information at the bottom, while clicking More Info shows a complete list of outdated components. In the case of an otherwise 64-bit Pro Tools 12, the AvidVideoEngine.app frameworks are still 32-bit code; the older Pro Tools 10 is entirely 32-bit, and therefore incompatible.

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Despite being otherwise 64-bit, apps like Pro Tools 12 still rely on older 32-bit frameworks which could be an issue when moving to macOS Catalina.

Getting up-to-date

Finding 32-bit apps is only half the battle—Go64 is designed to also help upgrade or purge older software. Although not an automated process, most software identified by Go64 includes a company name and website, with the latter only a click away in the toolbar.

After researching potential upgrades from the developer, costs can be manually logged for future reference; it’s also possible to save reports, but there’s no way to print or export as PDF. For many unwanted or abandoned apps, a click of the Move to Trash button purges them from your hard drive; others have to be manually deleted.

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Go64 lets you log upgrade costs for future reference.

Thanks to Go64, we’ve gotten a jump on cleanup ahead of Catalina. Aside from a splash screen when quitting the app (which can be turned off after the first time) promoting other St. Clair Software utilities like the excellent Default Folder X, there are no intrusive ads or personal data requests.

Bottom line

A fast, free way to get a comprehensive look at your 64-bit app compatibility and avoid surprises before installing macOS Catalina.

At a Glance
  • Go64 quickly scans your internal drive for 32-bit applications that won’t be compatible after installing macOS Catalina and helps find potential upgrades to keep software working.

    Pros

    • Free utility identifies 32-bit apps before upgrading to macOS Catalina
    • More detailed report than Apple’s own System Information
    • One-click link for researching upgrades on developer website

    Cons

    • Reports can’t be printed or exported as PDF
    • Upgrade cost must be entered manually
    • Some Mac apps require manual deletion
  
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