How to tell if your Mac is 64 bit

Feb 13, 2010 - 8 Comments

check mac processor Basically any Mac released after late 2006 is 64-bit. If you’re unsure whether or not your Mac is 64 bit or not, the easiest way to check is to find out what kind of processor your Mac has in it, and the easiest way to do that is to pull down the Apple menu and click ‘About this Mac’ and then look at what is listed next to “Processor”

Intel Core Solo – 32 bit
Intel Core Duo – 32 bit
Intel Core 2 Duo – 64 bit
Intel Quad-Core Xeon – 64 bit
Intel Core i5 – 64 bit
Intel Core i7 – 64 bit

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Posted by: Manish Patel in Mac OS X


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  1. Gnuut says:

    2009 Mac Minis do not run the kernel in 64-bit mode, even though the hardware is capable of it.

  2. Bruce says:

    Should I run windows 7 64 bit then if I have parallels? instead of the x84 version?

  3. Abhinav Kumar says:


    Correction: x86

    yes you shud…

  4. Chris says:

    Intel Quad-Core Xeon – 64 bit

    This does not run in 64 bit mode.

  5. Randall Smock says:

    But to go a littler further with this; even though your Mac might have a CPU that is capable, it might not be able to natively boot 64 bit.

    Currently Apple has black listed any 64 bit capable machine that has a 32 bit EFI,
    you could technically boot into a 64 bit kernel, but it would not be able to use NVRAM
    from the EFI/Bios that called it, this might present some problems.

    Apple has also (as noted up above) artificially blocked out some machines that could do
    this but aren’t ‘pro’ enough to allow it (i.e. unibody macbooks, displayport minis)

    from CLI/Terminal issue a uname -a if you get something that ends with I386 your in 32 bit mode, if you get K64 your in 64 bit mode, the implications are not as big as you would think and in some cases 32bit kernel is what you want anyhow as a lot of third party drivers will not work in 64 bit mode, load up the process monitor and look, if you have a Core 2 duo or above you will/should see 32 bit mode, 64 bit mode and Universal code running all at the same time. If your machine is *capable* of booting 64 bit but does not by default and you want to, you can hold down the 6 and 4 keys on a cold start up to see if that does the trick, conversely you can hold down the 3 and 2 keys to boot 32 bit mode for the above mentioned driver issues.


  6. richardun says:

    This means your proc is a 64-bit architecture proc, but that doesn’t mean you can install 64-bit software on your machine, it’s about the kernel.

    In your terminal, enter this: (:; is the prompt)

    :; uname -a

    See a i386 on the end? Your kernel is 32-bit… if you see x86_64 then you’re running a 64-bit kernel.

  7. Bali driver says:

    I did what richardun said, and what does this mean?
    /RELEASE_I386 i386
    Do I have 64-bit kerner and can install 64-bit software?

    Thank you

  8. Sypou says:

    Hi all,

    So in your opinion, If I have:
    Intel Core 2 Duo (meaning 64bit) and
    uname -a (i386)

    what package should I install, package for 32 or for 64?)



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