Note: this FAQ also applies to Big Sur

What’s the deal with Catalina?

Apple released macOS 10.15, aka Catalina, on October 7, 2019. The new macOS Catalina will no longer allow 32-bit applications to run. This platform shift made by Apple has affected every software developer who works with them.  

We recommend holding off on upgrading to Catalina until you’re ready to upgrade your Photo Mechanic software and any other 32-bit apps you use that are not compatible with Catalina or newer macOSes. 

Can Photo Mechanic run on Catalina?

Photo Mechanic 6 is fully 64-bit and runs on macOS 10.15 Catalina.

What about older versions of Photo Mechanic, will they run on Catalina?

Photo Mechanic version 5 is 32-bit and will not run on Catalina or newer macOS releases. Photo Mechanic 5 will continue to run on versions of macOS prior to Catalina (between 10.6.8 and 10.14.6).

I’m on Photo Mechanic version 5, can I upgrade to Photo Mechanic 6?

If you purchased your Photo Mechanic version 5 license after Jan 1, 2018, you’re eligible for a free upgrade to Photo Mechanic 6. Download Photo Mechanic 6 here:  If you purchased Photo Mechanic version 5 prior to that date, you may be eligible for the $89 upgrade price. To check your upgrade eligibility, you can login to your Camera Bits account anytime at: After you are logged in, click on the "Buy" link to see your upgrade price if you are eligible.

Can I try Photo Mechanic 6 first?

Yes, of course, you can! Take advantage of the 30-day free trial for Photo Mechanic 6 to see how it works for you. Click here to try Photo Mechanic 6 for free.

What if I don’t want to upgrade to Photo Mechanic 6?

If you don’t want to upgrade to Photo Mechanic 6 right now, you can still use Photo Mechanic 5  on prior versions of macOS (between 10.6.8 and 10.14.).

I’m confused, I thought my Photo Mechanic license was a lifetime license?

Photo Mechanic 5 was sold as a perpetual license rather than as a subscription. As with any product, including computers themselves, old versions have a limited "lifetime" of compatibility and sometimes need upgrades. Photo Mechanic 5 is not compatible with Catalina or newer macOS releases since it is not a 64-bit application. The improved 64-bit Photo Mechanic 6 is compatible with macOS Catalina and requires a new or upgraded license.

Why am I just hearing about this now?

We knew this was coming, so we tried to get the word out. We posted about it multiple times and mentioned it on our blog and email newsletter. But, we understand that with so much information bombarding us these days, the message can get lost in the shuffle. That’s why we’re offering free upgrades for Photo Mechanic 5 purchases made in 2018. 

I’ve switched to Catalina, but I can’t upgrade to Photo Mechanic 6. 
Do I have options?

Some studios have told us they are leaving backup laptops on older versions of macOS to keep running Photo Mechanic version 5 and other 32-bit programs.  If you are technically inclined, it is possible to have different versions of macOS installed on one computer. You can read an article about that in Macworld UK. (Note: We are unable to offer OS support and are not responsible for the content of this article)