I understand the move past Snow Leopard meant losing Rosetta, and compatibility with any PPC apps.

Since there are some apps that can't be replaced (for example, old years of TurboTax that I might need to reference) I have a drive to boot Snow Leopard, and one for Yosemite. I was considering the jump to El Capitan, when I saw the question Is VMware Fusion 5.0.5 compatible with OS X El Capitan? which got me wondering the question -

Before installing a next generation OS, is there any way to find, in advance, which apps I have that would be orphaned by the move?

Edit, the answer below from Jean Valjean was what I needed. One app concerning me appeared as follows:

enter image description here

It might be tedious to search many apps, but at least this gives me a chance to view the top ones that will cause me grief.

  • You might want to consider installing Snow Leopard in a VM as well...
    – mb21
    Nov 17, 2015 at 10:10
  • I've considered that. Right now, Snow Leo is my main OS. I'd rather not attempt to re-create it all in a VM. I have a second MacPro coming. Planning to make that my main SL machine, and leave the Yosemite boot drive in this one. It was actually TurboTax 2014 that forced me to download and boot from Yosemite. Nov 17, 2015 at 13:03
  • You should be able to install Snow Leopard in a VM and restore your time machine backup into it, to easily migrate it inside as you would if you had your computer replaced by a new piece of hardware. You will need a virtual machine manager which explicitly allows you to install OS X. Nov 17, 2015 at 14:40
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen - I'd consider the VM when SL is my secondary OS. It seems wrong to run a primary OS inside a VM. And with the second Mac coming, unnecessary. Further down the road, I'll consider the suggestion. Nov 17, 2015 at 21:26
  • To elaborate, I would create a scenario where your "outer" operating system would be the latest OS X your hardware could run. The "inner" operating system would then handle the few applications in your known setup that you could not run on the outside. You may also consider screen sharing instead with your new mac. Then you can essentially work on your old machine across the network if needed. Nov 17, 2015 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


RoaringApps has an incredibly thorough chart of apps and the various OS versions (OS X, iOS, and Windows!) that they're compatible with.

For reference, a green circle means an app works fine, a yellow circle means it works with some problems, a red circle means it doesn't work, a gray circle means there's conflicting data, and a blue circle means there's no data.

Re your complaint about searching many apps: They're working on a Mac app that'll scan your computer and give you compatibility reports for every app you've got.

  • 1
    Perfect, exactly what I needed. Nov 17, 2015 at 2:25
  • It's nearly 6 years later, and I'm planning to go from Yosemite to High Sierra. Visited your answer to find the RoaringApp app is now live. Absolutely great app they created. Again, my sincere thanks! May 16, 2021 at 14:29

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