How will an upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion affect my installed software?

mike knox November 14, 2011

I am considering upgrading my iMac and MacBook Pro from Snow Leopard to Lion.

I have a lot of software (Photoshop, Skype, Open Office, Firefox, Google Earth, etc) on both machines, some of which cost lots of $, most of which I’ve spent a lot of time configuring.

Will adopting Lion affect these other, non-apple programs? How?

  1. Mike
    November 15, 2011 at 12:00 am

    In general the Lion upgrade should not effect your applications or settings.

    [As ha14 already suggested] I do recommend to follow the common practice for updates/upgrades of:
    - creating a backup (at least from your User folder, at best an entire disk clone)
    - Repair Disk permissions via Disk Utility
    - Verify Disk via Disk Utility

    Also make sure you have all the latest Software Updates installed

    One thing you do have to make sure is that all your Apps and third-party drivers e.g. for printers are Intel ready that means they are at least available as Universal Binary. Unlike Snow Leopard the new Mac OS X 10.7 does not offer Rosetta hence applications, drivers or installers solely developed for PowerPC are not working anymore.

    one way to see which Apps are Power PC only

    • mike k
      November 15, 2011 at 1:46 am

      I'm not really worried about the apple stuff (applications), it's the non-apple 3rd party software that concerns me. I've added all sorts of stuff on to both machines, I know some of it won't be compatible with lion. I think most of the 3rd party software people will eventually make versions compatible with lion. The question is, how long to wait.
      Thanks for your concern & suggestions, I'll give them a try.

      • Mike
        November 15, 2011 at 7:25 am

        By applications or Apps I refer to all of them, Apple and third-party.

        The more important question is whether waiting will pay off or not...

        Snow Leopard was released in August 2009. If developers haven't switched to Universal Binary or Intel by now, they probably never will ~ don't you agree?

        Also some applications have gone from freeware or payed license model to a [payed] App Store version. There is always the possibility that you do have to pay money (again) to get the latest and/or Lion compatible version of an App.

        If you do have some Power PC only application you cannot replace and/or live without I suggest to contact the developer.

  2. Anonymous
    November 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    tou can make a backup on external hard drive or a partition with
    SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner

    Upgraders may also see a dialog informing you that some of the existing software on your Mac is incompatible with Lion, and listing that software

    Installing Lion: What you need to know

    Data Loss when upgrading to OS X Lion..
    [Broken Link Removed]

    Three ways to keep running your Rosetta apps with Lion installed

    • mike knox
      November 15, 2011 at 1:35 am

      Thank you. I'll try your suggestions. Photoshop is the most expensive & frequently used software I have. I'm mainly worried about it. I need to check with Adobe on that.

      • mehere
        February 29, 2012 at 4:34 am

        I came across your post as I too am hesitant to upgrade to lion because of photoshop and how it and the files I have created would convert over.  Did you upgrade and did you have success?

        • Mike
          February 29, 2012 at 6:34 am

          Mainly your question has already been answered.

          If your applications are Universal binary [Broken Link Removed] or "Intel" they should not be effected.

          An upgrade doesn't have any effect on user files stored on your Mac [or somewhere else for that matter].

          Just make sure to follow the best practices (backup, repair disk permission, verify disk) and don't interrupt the upgrade process e.g. by power outage.

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