“Legacy Software” in macOS Catalina

If you’ve been using a Mac for a while, and upgraded to macOS Catalina, you’ve probably seen some mention of 32-bit software. Catalina is a 64-bit operating system, and cannot run 32-bit apps. If you want to know more, here is an article I wrote about this.

In the article I link to above, I explained how to find 32-bit apps on macOS Mojave, using the System Information app. Since there is no 32-bit app support in Catalina, System Information no longer shows the bitness of apps. However, it does have a “legacy software” section.

Legacy software

But I have deleted or upgraded all the software listed here. I’m guessing that this list was made when I upgraded to Catalina, and hasn’t been updated. But what’s the point of having such a list? Even if I hadn’t acted on all this software, the list doesn’t make it that easy to find where it is located. One item has a path of:

/Volumes/Steinberg Download Assistant/Steinberg Download Assistant Setup.app/Contents/MacOS/Steinberg Download Assistant

This suggests that the software is, perhaps, in a disk image that was mounted on my Mac at some point, which is likely, as I did install some Steinberg software a while back. But how can that path be listed? When was this snapshot of software made?

This list is quite unhelpful.

7 thoughts on ““Legacy Software” in macOS Catalina

  1. The “Last Used” column is a giveaway: this list was automatically being maintained as you ran 32-bit software in the past. It wasn’t generated at a single point in time, rather, Mojave was keeping it continuously updated as you were using the system. Now that you have Catalina installed, you cannot possibly “use” this kind of legacy software, so it would appear there’s no way for new entries to ever be added anymore. It now only serves as a historical record of what you have lost by the removal of 32-bit support.

  2. I’m sticking my neck out here because I have not Upgraded to macOS Catalina yet; but from various Forums and other sources, I learnt about “Relocated Items Folder” which apparently appeared on the Desktop and was an alias. I wonder if this Folder also contained references to Legacy Software as you describe??

  3. You may have deleted or updated all software listed there, but some little pieces still stayed behind, either because the (un)installer or upgrade scripts are buggy/stupid/… or because some weakness in the system.

    If you carefully look at the location f all these pieces, they are prolly not in the most common locations. In my case, I still had the com.barebones.authd deamon installed – a little helper too for BBEdit.

    Thanks for the reminder to check what was left (installed) in that list; I hadn’t check for a while.

  4. Do you have a backup drive connected? Or older snapshots? I found that the system shows what it can see in the backups, unless you exclude them from Spotlight and then reindex.

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