Go64 1.0.3 is available now – you can download it from the Go64 page. If you’re not already aware of it, Go64 is a free application that scans your Mac for 32-bit applications that will no longer work when you upgrade to macOS 10.15 Catalina.
The new version of Go64 will now show you Preference Panes that contain 32-bit code. It also properly skips apps that are built for non-macOS platforms even if they contain code to run on an Intel processor (this is for you, iOS developers).
Most importantly, however, version 1.0.3 provides a preference window where you can tell Go64 not to show apps that are located within specific folders.
In the image above, I’ve got an old copy of Microsoft Database Daemon selected – it’s part of Microsoft Office 2011, which I still have so I can test it with Default Folder X. I know it’s 32-bit but want to keep it around, yet I don’t want it shown in Go64’s search results.
To remove it from the results, I just drag the ‘Microsoft Office 2011’ folder shown in the path control (in the green square) to the ‘ignore list’ in the prefs window. That’ll remove it from the results quickly and easily, even though Office 2011 is still on my Mac.
This should make it easier to clean out your list of 32-bit only apps so you can focus on the ones you need to upgrade. Note that you can also drag a single app into the ‘ignore list’ if you just want to remove one app rather than all apps within a folder.
To prepare, I wrote Go64, a free application that scans your system for 32-bit apps and shows them all in one place, with version and website information to make it easier to assess whether you need to update or look for an alternative.
After Mojave started warning about 32-bit apps needing to be updated, Ronald Leroux, who does all the French localizations of my software, pointed out that there wasn’t really a good way to check for and update 32-bit apps on your system. The built-in System Information app does work, but it’s certainly not the most user-friendly, nor is it necessarily complete.
Over a weekend last fall, I put together a straightforward little app to scan for 32-bit applications and show them in a list. It took a fairly simplistic approach, and worked fine but was no more thorough than what System Information provides. Still, it was much easier to use, so I figured I’d release it in the Mac App Store. Then came the task of trying to get it approved: App Store Review rejected it because it asked for permission for the entire disk so it could scan for apps. That wasn’t something I could fix or work around. So I shelved it – there were higher priorities at St. Clair Software, plus dealing with the App Store always seems to ruin my day.
“It’ll only take a couple of days…” – famous last words uttered by nearly every software developer at some point in their careers.
As they say, the devil’s in the details, and dealing with the vagaries of what goes on inside applications got interesting. Go64 leverages Spotlight to compile a list of executables, but then does a deep dive into each 64-bit application to check for any helper apps, frameworks, services or plugins that might not be 64-bit. While I knew this could be an issue, Howard’s work highlighted just how common it is to have a mix of executables bundled within apps. Most of the time, it’s just for expediency, and developers do the proper juggling to run the correct one, but how’s a user to know? So Go64 does a bunch of checks to look for common methods, and if it still can’t make sense of things, errs on the safe side and flags the app with a little caution icon.
Clicking on “More Info” gives you the whole scoop:
This, of course, led to more complexity. As a developer, I don’t want to be bugged by hoards of people asking whether my app is Catalina-compatible just because some stupid “Go64” app noticed I include a 32-bit helper to deal with ancient Quicktime videos. So Go64 updates its internal “Ignore this warning” list periodically from the St. Clair Software website – that way it can inform users that even though the app contains 32-bit code, it’s compatible.
So developers, if your app contains 32-bit code but is Catalina-compatible, contact me with the bundle ID and version number of the app and I’ll add it to the list so Go64 gives users this message instead:
And to everyone else, I hope Go64 turns out to be useful for you. I certainly had a lot more 32-bit apps sitting on my Mac than I thought!