How to Install Rosetta 2 on Apple Silicon Mac

Now, Apple Silicon Macs like the M1 MacBook Pro can run both iOS apps and Mac apps. But, what about apps that have been built to work only on Intel architecture? Well, thanks to Rosetta 2, you don’t have to worry about this problem anymore. Read on to know how to install Rosetta on Apple Silicon Mac.

What is Rosetta 2?

Rosetta 2: the latest version of Rosetta

In short, Rosetta 2 is an emulator designed to help you run apps that are built for Intel on Apple Silicon Macs. Rosetta 2 is necessary if you want to run older non-native Intel x86 apps on new M1 Apple Silicon Macs. Curiously, Rosetta 2 is not installed by default on these Macs. 

And, this binary translation software works in the background. So, whenever you use an app that is built only for Intel-based Macs, it automatically translates that app to Apple Silicon, so it can run on the M1-driven Mac.

There are two ways to install Rosetta 2 onto an Apple Silicon Mac, which is using the Intel app launch and via the command line. You can use whichever method you like, as both will help you install Rosetta 2 on your Mac. Remember, this is only available for Apple Silicon ARM Macs. Also, you will need to have macOS Big Sur or later in order to install Rosetta 2.

How to Install Rosetta 2 via App Launch

If you have any x86 Intel apps available on your M1 Mac, then simply open the app to start installing Rosetta automatically. Now, what you need to do is just simply click “Install”. Next, enter your username and password to allow Rosetta 2 installation to proceed. Then, just wait and let the app install Rosetta 2 software onto the Mac for you!

Once the installation is complete, Rosetta will then be available for any apps that need it. The translation process runs the first time you open those apps and it may cause the app’s icon to bounce for a few seconds before it launches. After that, everything will go back to normal. Surprisingly, in some cases, apps built with x86-64 can even run faster in Rosetta than on Intel Macs.

In case you want to know which of your apps need Rosetta, check our guide for how to find M1-optimized apps. But, your Mac will ask if you want to install Rosetta the first time you try to launch an Intel-based app anyway.

How to Install Rosetta 2 via Command Line on Apple Silicon Mac

The second way to install Rosetta 2 on your M1 Mac is by using the familiar software update command-line tool.

Follow the below steps to install Rosetta 2 on M1 Macs:

  1. Launch Terminal, which can be found in the Applications/Utilities folder. This will open a Terminal window and a command prompt for you to type.
  2. Input the following command and press “Enter“:

softwareupdate –install-rosetta

3. This will launch the Rosetta installer. Then, you just need to agree to its license agreement. However, you can skip the license agreement by providing this additional flag:

/usr/sbin/softwareupdate –install-rosetta –agree-to-license

Also, here is the guide to check if Rosetta is installed. In addition, you can read more about the Rosetta 2 translation environment at the Apple developer website, if interested.

The Bottom Line

After successfully installing Rosetta, the first run of Intel-based apps (including Microsoft Office apps) might be a little slow. Sometimes, it might take up to 30 seconds. So, be patient! You won’t experience the same delay the next time you run it.

Over time, more and more Apple Silicon apps will run natively on M1 Macs. And, Rosetta 2 will eventually become unneeded. However, that is probably still a couple of years away, as developers need more time to work on their new Apple Silicon-compatible apps.

Let us know if you have any questions about the M1 Macs in the comments below!

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About John Temple

2 thoughts on “How to Install Rosetta 2 on Apple Silicon Mac”

  1. Hi I cannot install Rosetta 2 please assist. Im stuck with no ssh permission and getting a menu when I enter the auto update command in the terminal.

    Reply

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