Force boot 64 bit mac

You can check the CPU with the command sysctl hw. Long answer: OS X doesn't have bit and bit versions; it uses a universal binary format which allows programs, system components, etc to be installed with both and bit code, and the system simply picks the "best" one to use based on the CPU you're on. Over different versions of OS X, what comes with the OS has gradually migrated from bit-only through The bit-capable kernel that was added in OS X is unusual in that it can transparently run bit apps under a bit kernel as well as bit apps under a bit kernel.

Since Adendum: even if you do upgrade to If your model uses bit EFI firmware, you can configure But again, it doesn't really matter, since bit apps work fine either way. This can get pretty complex pretty quickly, but the short version is that if you are running Snow Leopard or later, on a Mac that is running on a Core 2 Duo Intel chip or newer then you can run 64 bit apps.

You should note that there is no distinction between the 32bit and 64bit versions of OSX , the difference is in the EFI which is essentially the firmware controlling the interface between your OS and your hardware. Some older Macs come with a 32 bit EFI, some with 64 bit. In this exmaple you will see mine is running a 64 bit EFI. So, up to now you know that if you have a 64 bit EFI on the right CPU hardware, you are good to go with 64 bit, and it will boot into a 64 bit kernel at the operating system level, and allow you to run 64 bit apps.

However, there are exceptions, in that some fully 64 bit Macs still boot into 32bit mode by default. And now for the final kicker, any Mac running on the above CPU spec, irregardless of if they have a 32 bit or 64 bit EFI, and irregardless of if they are then booted into 32 bit or 62 bit kernels can still run 64 bit apps on top of a 32 bit OS kernel! Finally, this is worth repeating: please keep in mind that you do not need to run the bit kernel in order to run bit applications or install more than 4GB of RAM in your Mac. Applications run just fine in bit mode on top of the bit kernel, and even in earlier versions of Mac OS X it's been possible to install and take advantage of much more than 4GB of RAM.


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  • Your Answer.

To tell if your Mac is 64 bit capable, use the following command in Terminal. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Can I install 64 bit software on a 32 bit OS X - Ask Question. By all accounts the box should jump into a 64bit with the key combo described above…no dice.

AG, you are wrong. OS X is not the same as Windows where you have to run 64bit all or nothing. OS X is fully capable of booting the kernel in 32bit and running 64bit applications. The kernel is radically different in design and therefore, it makes little difference booting in 32bit mode which will ensure backwards compatible hardware will still function.

You could have problems with scanners, printers, mice, etc. In a rack mounted server, these devices are simply not used as the server is remotely managed. You will notice no performance difference unless you are running a whopping big server with gobs of RAM. Additionally, when in bit, all your legacy bit stuff might not work right… especially devices that only have bit drivers.


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The backwards compatibility is not as straightforward as some people think. Name required. Mail will not be published required. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited.

How to boot into 64 bit [Mac OS X]

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