How to run AxoGraph under MacOS Catalina

Unfortunately Apple dropped support for 32-bit apps when it released MacOS Catalina (10.15). This has affected many older apps, including AxoGraph (more than 20 years since it was first released). 

However, if you need to work with Catalina as your primary OS, there are a couple of practical work-around for running AxoGraph, and any other 32-bit apps you rely on.

1) You could purchase an external SSD drive, install Mojave 10.14, and make it bootable. You would reboot when you needed to run AxoGraph, or other 32 bit apps. This would be the preferred option if you needed to perform data acquisition using AxoGraph.

2) You could use Parallels ( to create a virtual machine and install Mojave 10.14, or High Sierra 10.13. Parallels is very slick, and you can launch and run 32-bit apps seamlessly under Catalina, and even copy and paste from a 32-bit app into a Catalina 64-bit app. Of course there is a performance hit, so this approach is only recommend on a fast computer with plenty of disk space and RAM.

A new Parallels license is only ~US$50, and you could have Mojave / AxoGraph installed in an hour or so, depending on your broadband speed. Here’s some guidance about the process…

To complete either of these suggested work-arounds, you may need to download a macOS installer

There’s also the option of using the free open source VirtualBox instead of Parallels,, and there are how-to YouTubes on setting it up. However, this approach is not recommended as there's more work involved, and it’s not so smoothly integrated with Catalina. 


Catalina has re-energised our efforts to finish the new, completely re-written 64-bit version of AxoGraph. It’s a huge task AxoGraph consists of approx 100,000 lines of code (think of a book with 100 lines per page, and 1,000 pages). These need to be moved across to a new development framework. Some algorithms come across unchanged, but the user interface has been re-written from scratch. The project is not far from completion (about 70% done).

There is no definite time-line. The plan from here is to release a new data-acquisition-only version, which will initially support HEKA and National Instruments and Molecular Devices digitizers. Data analysis features will be added in a subsequent update.