Check if your Mac is 64 bit Compatible via Command Line

Sep 23, 2009 - 5 Comments

While geeking around I discovered another way to check if your Mac is 64 bit compatible by using the command line. Launch terminal and type “sysctl hw |grep 64bit”

Here’s me using the command on my MacBook which does not have a 64 bit processor:
$ sysctl hw |grep 64bit
hw.cpu64bit_capable: 0

on my friends newer MacBook Pro his results were:
$ sysctl hw |grep 64bit
hw.cpu64bit_capable: 1

meaning it is a 64 bit processor.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line


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  1. voji91 says:

    thank you so much :)

  2. Josh says:

    Instead of getting all of the hardware variables, and grepping for a specific variable, simply use sysctl to get that specific variable.


    sysctl hw.cpu64bit_capable


    hw.cpu64bit_capable: 1 (or 0 depending)

  3. Charlie says:

    This only indicates whether your Mac is capable of running 64-bit applications. It says nothing about whether you can run Snow Leopard’s 64-bit kernel.

  4. m4rr says:

    Thanks! It’s a useful note.
    My Macbook is return result hw.cpu64bit_capable: 1. Nice :-).

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