How to Find Intel Apps on Apple Silicon Mac

Oct 28, 2022 - 1 Comment

See All Intel Apps on Mac with Apple Silicon

If you want to optimize app performance on an Apple Silicon Mac, you’ll want to be sure you’re running universal apps or apps built for Apple Silicon. And perhaps you’re just curious about which apps you have are still running Intel code on a newer Apple Silicon Mac. It’s easy to determine which apps continue to use Intel code on an M1/M2 Mac, so let’s check that out.

Yes, Rosetta 2, which allows Intel apps to run on Apple Silicon, has fantastic performance, but eventually running Intel apps on an M1/M2/M3 Mac is going to make less sense anyway, so there’s no harm in trying to get ahead of the curve by using primarily Apple Silicon apps whenever they’re available for Mac.

How to See All Intel Apps on Apple Silicon M1/M2 Mac

Locating all Intel apps on an Apple Silicon Mac is easy:

  1. Hit Command+Spacebar from anywhere on the Mac to bring up Spotlight search
  2. Type in “System Information” and hit return to launch the System Information application
  3. Choose “Applications” from the left side menu, under the ‘Software’ section
  4. Sort the list by “Kind” to group all Intel apps, universal apps (meaning code for both Apple Silicon and Intel), and Apple Silicon apps together
  5. Find all Intel apps on Mac with Apple Silicon

Now you can see exactly which apps are Intel native and therefore using Rosetta to run on the Mac.

If you’re aiming to get as many apps as possible that are native to Apple Silicon, you can go through the list and then locate those apps developers websites, and try to download Apple Silicon specific builds for each app whenever possible. Many apps that are offered through the App Store are also still either Intel as well, that is not unusual as many developers are slower to update their apps to the latest architecture.

Note there are still tons and tons of apps that are either Intel only or universal, with the former meaning Rosetta is in use, and the latter meaning the app has universal code for both. Because Rosetta performance is so good, you almost certainly will never notice a performance hit to using Rosetta apps, but technically they are not optimized for the Apple Silicon architecture since they’re not native to run on it.


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. Howard says:

    There’s an open-source app that can do the scan quickly.

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