upgraded to catalina, what do i do now??

I just upgraded top catalina now all my freeway websites wont work. is there a solution to this or do i need to now rebuild my 8 websites in a different program from scratch ?? this is a disaster. Please help :frowning:

As has been made clear on the Softpress website for quite some time:

" Freeway is a 32-bit application. It won’t run under the latest versions of macOS (from Catalina onwards) because Apple have dropped support for 32-bit applications and have abandoned many of the system APIs that Freeway uses.

We have developed Xway as a replacement for Freeway.

Development of Xway is progressing apace, but it’s going to take a while before it is a complete replacement for Freeway 7. There could be a transitional period in which you may want to keep Mojave on a separate partition for when you need to run Freeway 7 (or other 32-bit software).

Another option is to run Mojave in a VM, such as VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop."

There are also a number of in-depth discussions about this very issue here on the SoftpressTalk forum.

Did you upgrade to Catalina by choice or was it a decision forced upon you by other software requirements? If it was by choice then the simplest and quickest option would be to downgrade using the bootable backup copy you hopefully made of your system before upgrading. Alternatively you could add an additional partition to your hard disk (or use an additional hard disk) to run a ‘dual boot’ system so you could boot in to Catalina under normal circumstances and reboot into the older (backup) OS when you needed to work with Freeway. If you don’t have a bootable backup of your old system then you can still ‘rewind’ using your TimeMachine backups but this is a very slow process.

Other alternatives include:

  • work with the Freeway replacement Xway in Catalina which would mean rebuilding your websites in this new application. Although inspired by Freeway it works in a different way, currently has some missing features and can’t open existing Freeway files.

  • create a Virtual Machine of an older version of the OS that allows Freeway to open. You could use Parallels or VMware Fusion for this. This allows you to effectively run two (or more) versions of the OS at the same time. I use this method with Monterey as my main OS and El Capitan run via Fusion. You should be able to create a virtual machine from the bootable backup copy of your old system or you can start afresh using a suitable system installer which are becoming much harder to find.

Hope this helps.

All the best


1 Like


Another way to solve the problem should be to start the Mac with the the former MacOS version from an external disk (if the security settings permit it as recent security protection settings of the recent versions of MacOS don’t allow it.

Security settings to allow booting from external drives on T2-secured Macs can be changed relatively easily and it’s something I do early on just in case I need the feature at some time in the future.

  • Boot the Mac in to recovery mode (hold down command-R at startup)
  • Select Utilities - Startup Security Utility
  • Enter your password (if required)
  • Change ‘External Boot’ option to “Allow booting from external media”
  • Quit the utility
  • Click the red close button and restart

I’ve only done this with Intel Macs and don’t know if it’s a similar process with Apple Silicon Macs.

This is why I am still on MacOS High Sierra. The OS is rock solid stable, and I can keep running Freeway 7 Pro. But at some point, I really do need to update. It’s just that the new version of Freeway won’t be able to replace Freeway 7 Pro in terms of all the features anytime soon.

I’ve heard you can use virtualization to run older versions of MacOS X within MacOS Catalina, but you need RAM, CPU and Storage to do that nicely. If you have an older Mac, that may not be possible.

Does anyone know how well Freeway 7 would run on a modern Mac, using a virtual machine, compared to on an old MacBook Air (I have a 2015, 2.2GHZ i7, 8GB RAM, SSD machine)

So for example, if I bought a brand new MacBook Pro, and maxed it out with RAM, would I see Freeway speed improvements, and less crashing, or would it be worse, under a virtual machine?

Also, how easy is it to actually set this sort of thing, and use?

Sorry so many questions, but I’d love a new Mac, and I can’t buy one, unless Freeway 7 works really well on it. Thanks in advance, to anyone that can help me!

I haven’t done any of this myself, but I can tell you from (delighted) personal experience, even the cheapest M1 Macs have so much headroom, processor performance-wise, that you might see an overall improvement, even with the overhead of virtual machine shenanigans.

More RAM is always a good thing, since you are going to be running two OSs at the same time, even if only one of them is doing anything meaningful with the processor.


Hi Bill,

M1 Macs are great, but I don’t think it’s possible to run old (Intel-based) versions of macOS on them. If anyone can correct me on this, I’d love to be proved wrong. I have an M1 Mac, and would like to be able to run Freeway in a virtual machine for dealing with support issues (I’ve moved over to Xway for actual websites). Currently, I have to boot up an old Intel Mac if I need to run Freeway.

The FAQ for Parallels Desktop, under “What can I do with Parallels Desktop?” says: “Install other operating systems, such as versions of Windows, Linux, another copy of macOS* and free virtual appliances—and use them together”, and a footnote says: “Features that are only available on Mac computers with Intel processors are marked with an asterisk (*).”

You might wonder how it can run Windows, which normally runs on Intel machines. The answer is that it actually runs an ARM version of Windows, and not the Intel version. ARM is the instruction set used by M1 chips, so it is compatible with M1 versions of macOS.

Thanks Jeremy,

So does that mean it is compatible, then?

Does anyone have any experience of how it actually performs, running Freeway?

Thanks, anyone that can help

Thanks Walter, also! (sorry, I missed your post, earlier)

So, it looks promising, then…?..

If you have an Intel Mac, then it can run Monterey as its native (host, in the VM sense) OS, and run an older Mac OS like Mojave as a “guest” OS under virtualization. All you need is plenty of RAM. But if you have an M1 Mac, you can’t run Intel-only OS versions like Monterey on it at all. Not until someone comes up with a way to run those instructions under Rosetta2, which would likely be very slow indeed, or require punishing amounts of RAM to hold the translated instructions.


It means it’s not compatible unless you have an Intel Mac. The latest Macs have non-Intel (M1) processors.

If you have an Intel Mac, you can run Freeway within a virtual machine (such as Parallels Desktop) that is running Mojave (or earlier) under recent versions of macOS.

Rosetta 2 (Apple’s Intel emulation layer) doesn’t contain instructions that are needed to run Intel OSes. That’s why Parallels requires a non-Intel version of Windows.

Ah, ok, thanks for the info guys. Much appreciated, even if it is quite depressing.

I have a 1500 page website, which is my livelihood, but it’s a complex site, which I developed over the last 15 years, and I don’t have the energy to convert it to Wordpress or similar. So I guess as it stands, I’ll be stuck on my 2015 laptop forever :frowning: