How to Run an M1 Mac App as an Intel App – Guide

When Apple released the first Macs with the M1 processor (Apple’s first generation of silicon), it also introduced an entirely new architecture for running applications on the Mac. To take full advantage of the speed of the new chip, Intel software must be specifically rewritten for the M1 processor. However, developers need time to write applications with this “native” code, so Apple created a translation tool called Rosetta 2 that allows existing Intel-based software designed for Intel Macs to run on Apple chips. If you have a Mac M1, you’re probably already using Rosetta without realizing it. The first time you launched an app that required it, a warning popped up informing you that Rosetta was needed and asking your permission to install it. Once installed, Rosetta is automatically available to any application that needs it. The same applies to M1 apps. If a native application is available, your Mac will automatically run that version. However, there may be times when you have a universal app (an app that runs on both Intel and Apple silicon Macs) and you prefer to run the Intel version over the M1 version. This could be due to an M1 app without a feature you need or if you are using an application with third-party plug-ins or extensions that are only supported by Intel.

How to Check if an application is Intel/Silicon/Universal based

If you want to check whether an application is running on Intel-based software, Apple Silicon-based software, or Universal software (the application supports both Intel and Silicon processors), you can do so in the system settings as described below:

How to open an Apple Silicon app as an Intel app

If you have a universal version of an application, you might want to run the Intel version instead of the M1 version. This could be because the M1 version is missing a feature you need, or the Intel version supports certain third-party plug-ins or extensions that the M1 does not yet support. In such cases, you can force an application to run the Intel version with Rosetta instead of the Apple M1 version:

Final note

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