How to Check if Applications are Incompatible with Mac OS X Lion
List What Installed Apps Are Incompatible with OS X 10.7 Lion
For incompatible applications, all you are looking for is the “PowerPC” designation, here’s the easiest way to get a list of these installed on your Mac:
- Launch System Profiler (from Spotlight or hold down Option > Apple menu > System Profiler)
- Look for the “Software” menu on the left side Contents list
- Click on “Applications”
- Click on “Kind” to sort your installed applications by architecture type, scroll through the list until you see “PowerPC”
Anything listed as “PowerPC” will not run in 10.7 Lion. Intel and Universal apps will run just fine.
If you are completely dependent on one of these PPC apps, you may want to try a dual boot OS X 10.6 and 10.7 configuration, or just skip upgrading to Lion until a Lion-compatible version of that app is made available.
If you look in System Profiler and none of your apps are listed as PowerPC, you should have no compatibility issues. You can view the broader Mac OS X Lion system requirements if you haven’t done so already, but aside from requiring a 64-bit processor they are fairly lenient.
Here’s an older screenshot of lots of PowerPC apps, if you see something like this and you use all of the apps, you would not want to upgrade to Lion without finding out if there are newer versions:
You can also check to see if actively running apps are PowerPC by using Activity Monitor.