I have mac book pro, Processor: 2.16 Ghz intel Core Duo, Memory: 1 GB 667 Mhz DDR2 SDRAM, Model Identifier: MacBookPro1,2, Total Number Of Cores: 2, Boot ROM Version: MBP12.0061.B03.

uname -a: Darwin khalil-chs-MacBook-Pro-17.local 10.8.0 Darwin Kernel Version 10.8.0: Tue Jun  7 16:33:36 PDT 2011; root:xnu-1504.15.3~1/RELEASE_I386 i386

My question: Can I install 64 bit software on this mac? Or could I "update" my 32 bit to 64 bit?

  • I don't think you can. Most 32-bit (x86) CPU do not provide forward compatibility for applications that target the 64-bit (x86_64) architecture.
    – Sal Rahman
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 14:00
  • Note that some OS X software comes in universal binary format, which allows it to contain both 32- and 64-bit versions of itself. In this case, it'll simply use the 32-bit version when you open it. Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 14:32
  • No you can not. Only the other way around! A 64bit installer would not even launch on a machine with 32bit processor.
    – v2r
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


Can I install 64 bit software on this mac?

Short answer


Long Answer

Your MacBook has a i386 CPU on it. The instruction set doesn't have any forward compatibility with the newer 64-bit architectures such as AMD64 or IA-64.

The reason AMD64 has backwards compatibility with x86 (not sure about i386), is that it was designed to be an extension to the x86 architectures while still allowing CPU instructions to grow as large as 64 bits in length, as opposed to x86, where instructions are just 32 bits in length.

Where as i386 was designed without ever having thought that, perhaps one day, instructions will be of 64 bits in length, and hence why 64-bit support was never built.

You might want to look into virtualizing a 64-bit OS. I'm not entirely sure if your MacBook supports it, but you might want to look into enabling VT-x to virtualize a 64-bit architecture.


No, you can't. That Macbook has a 32-bit processor (http://ark.intel.com/products/27237/Intel-Core-Duo-Processor-T2600-2M-Cache-2_16-GHz-667-MHz-FSB), so there's no way to have it use 64-bit software.

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