With MacOS High Sierra now available, you may have installed it already... If you haven't, before you do, you might want to check that you won’t be left high and dry when you try and run the Mac apps you rely on.
The last time there was this much upheaval in terms of non-compatible apps was when Apple stopped shipping Rosetta in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Rosetta was Apple’s tool for translating apps to run on an Intel processor. When Apple initially moved to Intel, Rosetta served to translate legacy apps, but following the release of Lion those old apps were no longer supported.
With the advent of High Sierra comes a shift away from 32-bit apps - although luckily this isn’t a complete move away from 32-bit, yet. MacOS High Sierra will still support 32-bit apps, but Apple has said that all apps sold on the Mac App Store should be 64-bit from January 2018.
So when it arrives in 2018 MacOS 10.14 will not support 32-bit apps at all. A little bit like the way iOS 11 doesn’t support 32-bit apps. Read about that here: Which apps won't work in iOS 11?
Here are some of the apps that we know won’t work with MacOS High Sierra, and some that might work, but aren’t being supported. Some of these apps are Apple’s own!
For more information abou what to expect from High Sierra read our review of High Sierra here.
Apple apps that won’t work in High Sierra
Apple used to bundle a number of apps with Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio, both of which have since been discontinued and replaced by Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X in 2011. However, if you are still using these older suites note that none of these bundled apps, which included DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Colour, Cinema Tools, and more, will work with High Sierra.
If you had updated to Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X you aren’t necessarily out of the water. Only the following versions are compatible with High Sierra, so if you are running an older version than the ones listed below you will need to update. You can update to the latest versions on the Mac App Store, links below.
Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4 - Update to the latest version of Final Cut Pro here
Motion 5.3.2 - Update to the latest version of Motion here
Compressor 4.3.2 - Update to the latest version of Compression here
Logic Pro X 10.3.1 - Update to the latest version of Logic here
MainStage 3.3 - Update to the latest version of MainStage here
Microsoft apps that won’t work/aren’t supported in High Sierra
Microsoft has announced that this will not be offering “formal support” for it’s Office 2011 apps in macOS 10.13 High Sierra. Support for Office 2011 for Mac is due to end on 10 October 2017 anyway. We have tested Word 2011 and it does seem to work in High Sierra, but we would advise against relying on it, just in case a glitch causes you to lose your work.
The company also says that if you are running Office 2016 for Mac you should update to version 15.35 or later.
You can update to the latest version of Microsoft Office here.
There are also said to be problems with Microsoft autoupdate.
Adobe apps that won’t work/aren’t supported in High Sierra
Before you can use any Adobe apps you will need to install the Java SE 6 runtime which you can find here. That may fix any problems you encounter with your version of the Adobe apps, if you are lucky, but it would seem that there are bigger issues with the creative tools.
Adobe has announced that users of both Illustrator and InDesign will encounter issues in High Sierra.
Adobe warns that 2017 releases of Illustrator CC (and earlier) were not designed, nor supported to run on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) Beta builds. So if you are running even the most recent version of Illustrator you may encounter problems.
Adobe says that the new APFS file system could prevent Illustrator CC 2017 launching. It may even stop it installing.
Illustrator will also default to emulating the Illustrator 6.0 colour space, according to reports.
There may also be some incompatibility issues with certain graphics cards/chips.
According to Adobe, engineers are working on fixes and will release them "in a future version of Illustrator".
Following installation of High Sierra, some users of InDesign reported issues with the cursor. Then Adobe published it's own guidance outlining the issues with InDesign CC2017 or earlier.
Adobe wrote: "When you work with InDesign for some time, the cursor may appear as a pixelated box."
The company advises: "You may wish to remain on an older version of the OS that is compatible with the current version of InDesign to resolve this issue," and confirms: "Our engineering team is working with Apple to correct the root problem as soon as possible."
Other Creative Cloud versions of the Adobe apps should be supported in High Sierra, but users are advised to make sure that their version of the apps are up-to-date.
The Supplemental Update Apple issued on 5 October addresses an issue with the curser in InDesign. Read more about the latest version of MacOS High Sierra here.
In terms of older versions of the Adobe apps, users of Adobe Photoshop CS4 may encounter problems but Adobe has announced that it won't be checking those apps for compatibility with High Sierra.
Our version of PhotoShop (CS5.5) seemed to work in High Sierra.
You can update to the latest version of the Adobe suite here.
Hardware that isn't supported in High Sierra
Wacom has also announced some compatibility issues with High Sierra.
The company released a statement on its support site saying that "due to nature of the changes in High Sierra, the existing Wacom driver for 10.12 will not work." Wacom says it is working on a new driver and that it should be ready before the end of October 2017.
Wacom suggests that users should not to upgrade to 10.13 until the new driver is released.
Other apps that may not work in High Sierra
Here’s a list of apps that have been checked and were not working properly in the High Sierra beta. We also have information about the following:
FileMaker has confirmed that there may be some issues with FileMaker Pro 16 and FileMaker Pro 15.
Version 14 "does not install" and all older versions are not compatible.
Google Drive initially wasn't compatible with High Sierra. However, the company updated the Backup and Sync app with APFS support so users of Google Drive and Google Photos should be able to take advantage of the features of the new Apple File System.
Rogue Amoeba Audio Hijack
The company confirms that all current versions of its software are compatible with High Sierra, but explains that "Users running an outdated version of some of our apps may experience problems with audio playback on the new OS."
AutoCAD has published a note on its website explaining: "AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac 2015 and earlier are not compatible with Mac OS X v10.13.x (High Sierra). Versions 2016 and later are, although the latest updates for the products needs to be applied."
The company blames the APFS for the issues, saying: "A new file system has been introduced with High Sierra called APFS. When upgrading to the new Mac OS, the file system is automatically converted from HFS+ to APFS. All applications that do not understand APFS (not just AutoCAD) will need to be updated for compatibility."
The company has made a Autocad 2017 update available but the update for 2016 is still forthcoming.
Unity is recommending that its users avoid installing macOS 10.13 because despite having fixed a number of issues that were apparent from the High Sierra beta, there are still some faults and problems with APFS.
The company has already issued some fixes, including one for "disappearing assets on APFS and Monodevelop crashes while starting," but there are other known problems on High Sierra that are still being investigated, according to the company.
There are also concerns about issues with Valve's Source engine and the Steam client. These are said to be affecting Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Gamers are experiencing frame rate issues, and reports that the software is not up to date, even if the user is running the latest release of the software.
The games maker has confirmed that there are issues in High Sierra for versions of its games including:
- Call of Duty 2 (Graphic corruption on Nvidia chipsets
- Civilization V (Crashes)
- Duke Nukem Forever (Doesn’t launch on ATI and Intel equipped Macs)
- Layers of Fear (Save data cannot be read or written)
- The Sims 2 Super Collection (Graphic corruption on AMD chipsets)
Other third party apps
Other apps with issues are said to include:
- CodeWeavers CrossOver (and apps that use it, such as LogMeIn Rescue)
- Dropbox (some people are having issues with the smart sync feature)
- DiskWarrior 5.0 (APFS disks are not recognized and will not appear in the list of disks)
- Drive Genius, Prosoft Engineering
- Rapidweaver, Realmac Software
- Sophos AV (additional steps are needed to "Allow" Sophos Home system extensions to be loaded)
- SuperDuper, ShirtPocket (don't support APFS)
- TechTool Pro, Micromat (don't support APFS)
Which 32-bit applications will Apple stop supporting?
As we mentioned above, when Apple inleashes the new version of macOS in 2018 support for 32-bit apps will have ended. Get ready for that now and check which of your apps are still 32-bit.
- Go to Apple Menu
- About This Mac
- System Report
- Software > Applications
- In the final column you can see whether it’s a 64-bit application.
Here are some of the non 64-bit applications that may be a cause for concern:
- Adobe Illustrator CS5
- Abobe InDesign CS5
- Microsoft Excel 2011
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
- Microsoft Outlook 2011
- Microsoft Word 2011