I understand the issue with migrating away from the Snow Leopard release of OS X to anything newer is that applications compiled for the PowerPC architecture will no longer function.

Is there a way to identify applications that are PowerPC-based without opening each and every application and looking at Activity Monitor? It would be great to know in advance which ones need updating so I can check if they've been recompiled for the x86 architecture.

1 Answer 1


I don't have a Snow Leopard install handy but this info is available in System Profiler...

Apple Menu > About > More Info

In the resulting app there should be a way to view the installed applications. In that list there will be a column "Kind" that will state "Intel", "Universal" or "PPC".

Screen shot of how this looks in Mountain Lion: (may look different in Snow Leopard, but idea is the same.)

screen shot showing "kind column"

  • Perfect. I've used Macs forever, and never had the occasion to click on the software tab part of system info. I'm not ready to update my Office, that will be the deal killer right now. Jul 17, 2013 at 0:13

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