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MacOS Catalina (v10.15) UPDATE

Update your Mac Operating System to macOS Catalina

ATTENTION KaleidaGraph users: If you need to run KaleidaGraph on your computer, do not update to Catalina at this time. The existing version doesn’t run on Catalina, and a new version is not yet available. 

Users have two options to choose from to perform the OS upgrade. The first option is using the standard Apple Software Update method. The second option is to use the new Smith Self Service macOS upgrade package that allows a user to upgrade with just a couple of clicks. Both will result in the same OS upgrade. Before you begin either method, make sure your data is backed up. 

Update Using Apple Update 
To check available updates and install the latest OS using the standard Apple Software update:

  • From the desktop, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen, then click System Preferences
  • Click Software Update. The Software Update window will display available updates. If you’re running macOS Mojave, the option for macOS Catalina should be listed. Click Upgrade Now to proceed.
  • Note: if you are running High Sierra or older, follow these steps to access the update: From the desktop click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen, select App Store, then click Updates.

Update Using Smith Self Service
Alternatively, you can upgrade to Catalina using the macOS upgrade available in Smith Self Service. To use this method, from the Launchpad, click Smith College Self Service then click macOS Upgrades. Click Install to begin the update process and follow the prompts.

32-bit Compatibility

macOS Catalina does not support running 32-bit applications. Typically, these apps are older software packages, and the solution is for users to upgrade to the newer version of the software after upgrading to Catalina. ITS and campus partners have tested the compatibility of supported and common apps that are in use on the Smith campus. The table below lists applications with noteworthy compatibility and current recommendations.

For instructions on how to check for 32-bit applications installed on your Mac OS computer and to read about Apple’s transition, read Apple's support article


Software Application


Comments and Recommendations (as of Feb 12, 2020)

Adobe Premiere Pro 
and Adobe Bridge

Various internal components are 32-bit

Update to latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud (CC 2020)

Adobe Application Manager

Various internal components are 32-bit

Update to latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud


Fetch v5.8 runs on Catalina. Older versions were 32-bit.

Update to v5.8. Available through Smith Self-Service.


Latest version supports Catalina

Update available. Users can update to the latest version on their own.

Google Earth Pro

One internal component is 32-bit and not compatible.

No update available. Most functionality works as expected.  Recommend to periodically check if vendor has released an update.


32-bit application

No update available. Do not upgrade to Catalina if you need to continue to run.


MATLAB R2019b is compatible with macOS Catalina. Older versions are not supported on Catalina

Update to MATLAB R2019b is recommended. Available through Smith Self-Service.

MacTeX, TeXShop, and Excalibur

Users can update to the latest version on their own.


One component is not compatible. 

No update available. Most functionality works as expected. See known limitations and workarounds at


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Copyright © 2015 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Last updated February 13, 2020

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