Q: My four-year-old MacBook Pro is warning me that eight of my programs "will not work with future versions of MacOS and need to be updated to improve compatibility." Some of these programs are well-known software, such as "Microsoft Office Utilities" and "Amazon Music." I use the Mojave 10.14.4 operating system. What should I do?
David de Felice, Madison, Wis.
A: The warning is misleading. You don't need to "improve compatibility" for those eight programs, because they work perfectly well with your present operating system. But you will need to upgrade to newer versions of the programs in order to use them on Apple's next Mac operating system, due out later this year.
The new Mac operating system doesn't yet have an official name, and is known only as "macOS 10.15." While Apple hasn't specified when it will be released, experts believe it will be announced this summer and available to consumers in the fall (for more about likely operating system features, see tinyurl.com/y4c3gddc).
Why do you need to upgrade the programs that generate the warning? Because they are all 32-bit software, which is now old technology. They process 32 bits of data at once, which limits both their speed and the amount of computer memory they can use (about 4 gigabytes.)
Apple has said the new Mac operating system will be able to use only newer, 64-bit programs that run faster and can use about 30 times as much memory.
Upgrading to 64-bit versions of your eight programs should be relatively easy, because software makers have known for some time that this change was coming. For instance, you can already find 64-bit Mac versions of Microsoft Office 2019 ($150, see tinyurl.com/yaamffvk) and Amazon Music (free, see tinyurl.com/nuchkbp).
Q: Do all four of the "duplicate photo finder" programs you recommended (see tinyurl.com/y4lt5xz4) let you preview different versions of the same photo before some are deleted? Do these programs also delete photo duplicates from a cloud storage account?
Kathy Magrew, Maple Grove
A: Three of the programs allow you to view duplicate photos before anything is deleted. They are Easy Duplicate Finder (tinyurl.com/y9qldqcs); Duplicate Photo Finder (tinyurl.com/ybh6tq77); and Duplicate Cleaner (tinyurl.com/mfl56n3).
Whether the photo deletions are carried over to a cloud account depends on which provider you use. For example, if you automatically back up your photos to the cloud, photo deletions will be copied to a Microsoft OneDrive account but not to an IDrive account.
Q: I have a 13-year-old Dell Dimension 5100 that I'd like to upgrade to Windows 10. I previously upgraded it from Windows XP to Windows 7.
Tom Olson, Golden Valley
A: Dell publishes a list of its PCs that have been tested for Windows 10 compatibility (see tinyurl.com/yxmksafz). No Dell Dimension models appear in that list, so it's unlikely that your PC can run Windows 10.
E-mail tech questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Tech Q&A, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.