Apple Rosetta 2 Icon on a Blue Background
Apple

By default, a Mac with Apple Silicon will always run the ARM version of a universal binary app if available. But sometimes, older plug-ins you rely on may not have been upgraded to support Apple Silicon yet. Luckily, it’s easy to force macOS to run the Intel version of an app through Rosetta instead. Here’s how.

First, open your “Applications” folder. One way to do it quickly is to open “Finder” and choose Go > Applications from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You can also open a Finder window and click “Applications” in the sidebar.

Open the Applications folder using Finder on your Mac.

In the “Applications” folder, locate the universal binary app you’d like to run through Rosetta. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the app’s icon and select “Get Info.”

In your Applications folder, right click an app icon and select "Get Info."

In the “Get Info” window that appears, look toward the bottom of the “General” section. Enable the “Open using Rosetta” checkbox.

You can now close the Info window.

In the "Get Info" window, check the box beside "Open using Rosetta."

The next time you open the app, it will open the x86_64 version of the app using Rosetta instead of the arm64 version. If you’d like to go back to running the Apple Silicon version of the app instead, open the app’s “Get Info” window again and uncheck “Open using Rosetta.” Good luck!

This will hopefully become less necessary over time. Apple’s first Apple Silicon Macs, which feature the M1 chip, will provide a platform for developers to port their applications to ARM so that they run natively on future Apple Silicon Macs.

RELATED: What Is Apple's M1 Chip for the Mac?

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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