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Archived - Intel-based Macs: Forcing a Universal application to run with Rosetta

Mac OS X applications that can run natively on both Intel processor- and PowerPC processor-based Macs are called Universal applications. Even if you don't have a Universal version of an application, you can still use it on an Intel processor-based Mac by means of Rosetta, which comes with every Intel-based Mac. Rosetta works behind the scenes to translate an existing, native, non-Universal application (one that was designed to run natively a PowerPC-based Mac, not a Classic application) so that it can run on an Intel-based Mac—all you have to do is double-click the application!

Sometimes, you might have a Universal version of a graphics or Internet application on your Intel processor-based Mac that you want to run via Rosetta instead of running natively. Because some Universal applications may continue to rely on existing plug-ins, you may sometimes need to force a Universal application to run in Rosetta to accommodate the plug-in. Check with your plug-in manufacturer(s) to see if Universal versions are available, too.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Here's how you can force a Universal application to open using Rosetta:

  1. Click the application's icon in the Finder, such as Safari's icon.
  2. From the Finder File menu, choose Get Info (or press Command-I).
  3. Select the checkbox named "Open using Rosetta."
  4. Close the Get Info window.

Now, when you double-click the application, it will open with Rosetta, and any non-Universal plug-ins should work.

Last Modified: Jul 9, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Jul 9, 2012
  • Article: HT1730
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