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Archived - Mac OS X v10.6: Macs that use the 64-bit kernel

Learn which Macs can use the 64-bit kernel in Mac OS X v10.6 and which use it by default.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

These Macs use the 64-bit kernel by default in Mac OS X v10.6.

  • Mac Pro (Mid 2010)
  • MacBook Pro (Early 2011)
  • iMac (21.5-inch and 27-inch, Mid 2011)

These Macs use the 64-bit kernel by default in Mac OS X Server v10.6 (they can also use the 64-bit kernel in Mac OS X v10.6, but do not use it by default).

  • Xserve (Early 2008) and later
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008) and later
  • Mac mini (Mid 2010)

These Macs support the 64-bit kernel, but do not use it by default.

  • iMac (Early 2008) and later
  • MacBook Pro (Early 2008 through Mid 2010)

Note: If you're not sure which model your Mac is, use these links to identify your Mac Pro, iMac, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini.

Additional Information

You can see which kernel you are using in System Profiler:

  1. Choose About This Mac from the Apple () menu.
  2. Click More Info. 
  3. Select Software in the Contents pane.
  4. Look for "64-bit Kernel and Extensions: Yes (or No)" under the System Software Overview heading.

Some third-party software may need to be updated for compatibility with the 64-bit kernel. Learn how to switch between using the 64-bit and 32-bit kernelsNote: A 64-bit kernel is not the same thing as a 64-bit processor.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Apr 23, 2014
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