Warning: If you use an older Adobe app, don’t install MacOS Catalina

Apple launched its MacOS Catalina operating system on October 7, complete with lots of new features and improvements. However, if you’re using an older version of any Adobe application, you might not want to install the operating system on your Mac at all.

The warning comes from Adobe, which now has a support page detailing the reasons why some of its apps might not work with MacOS Catalina. As we’ve warned before, the primary cause for the warning is the fact that MacOS Catalina does not support 32-bit applications. This means that some older Adobe applications still coded for 32-bit Macs will output an error when launched on a Mac device running MacOS Catalina.

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

As a resolution, Adobe is recommending MacOS Catalina users to update all Adobe apps to the 64-bit compliant versions. It is also being recommended for concerned customers to continue using the recommended MacOS versions for older 32-bit Adobe apps.

In addition, Adobe warns that some of its apps are not fully tested for Catalina. That includes Acrobat DC or Creative Cloud apps. Other apps not compatible with Catalina include Adobe Captivate, Fuse, Presenter Video Express, and Speedgate. Adobe will be planning updates for Captivate to make it compatible, however, the latter of the apps will remain incompatible.

For users of the 32-bit versions of Creative Suite of apps, Adobe recommends switching to Creative Cloud. Adobe Fuse users, meanwhile, should switch to Mixamo. Finally, Adobe Presenter Video Express users should switch to Adobe Captivate.

“Nearly all current Adobe products are 64-bit apps. If you are not using the latest update, you could receive an error. Most older, unsupported versions of Adobe apps are not available using 64-bit architecture,” explains Adobe.

Such an issue with app compatibility is not uncommon in the computing world. Microsoft’s new Surface Pro X has an important limitation due to its ARM architecture. Some 64-bit apps won’t run on the Windows 10 on ARM operating system powering the device unless developers recompile their apps specifically for the ARM architecture (ARM64.)

You can learn more about 32-bit vs 64-bit operating systems in our guide.