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I've noticed that any apps that support both 32-bit and 64-bit mode, even when set to start in 32-bit mode, will always default to 64-bit mode when launched on login. In other words, launching the app from Finder will correctly load it up in 32-bit mode, but it will not do this if I then add it to the Login Items list for my user under System Preferences.

Does anyone have some insight into how I might achieve this? Maybe add a shell script to the login items list that calls "arch -i386 [app-binary]" ?

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  • Does open honor the architecture setting? – Daniel Beck Jul 26 '12 at 17:24
  • Good question, let me verify and I'll update what I find... (Update: yes, open does honor the architecture setting.) – Wilco Jul 26 '12 at 17:47
  • Posted a workaround using open. I don't know how to determine a running application's architecture setting, so I can't test it myself. Please let me know whether it works. – Daniel Beck Jul 26 '12 at 17:52
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As a workaround, you can create a wrapper application to open using Automator or AppleScript Editor.


In Automator, create a new Application.

Add the Run Shell Script step from the library and set the following script contents:

open -a "App Name"

Save as e.g. Run App Name i386.app and add this program to your Login Items.

Using open means it immediately quits, so it doesn't pollute your Dock for long.

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