How to Hide and Remove System Preference Panes in macOS

by

macos system preferences iconIn macOS, the System Preferences app located in the Applications folder is where you can adjust various settings to customize your Mac. Most system preference panes are native to macOS and cannot be removed – although they can be hidden. In this article, we'll show you how it's done.

Occasionally, third-party apps installed on your Mac will insert their own preference panes in the bottom row of the System Preferences panel. Sometimes these panes will pointlessly stick around even after you've uninstalled the associated app. Thankfully though, they can be removed separately. To jump to our instructions on how to do that, click here.

How to Hide a Native System Preferences Pane

  1. Launch System Preferences from your Mac's Dock, from the Applications folder, or from the Apple menu bar ( -> System Preferences...).
    1 launch system preferences macos

  2. From the System Preferences menu bar, select View -> Customize.... Alternatively, click and hold the Show All button located to the right of the forward and back arrow buttons at the top of the System Preferences window.
    2 customize system preference pances mac

  3. A blue checkbox will appear next to each pane in the System Preferences window. Uncheck the panes that you wish to hide.

  4. Press Done.

Tip: The View menu includes an option to change the preference pane arrangement from the default Organize by Categories to Organize Alphabetically, and vice versa.

How to Remove Third-Party Preference Panes

  1. Launch System Preferences from your Mac's Dock, from the Applications folder, or from the Apple menu bar ( -> System Preferences...).
    1 identify system preference pane to remove macos

  2. Locate the third-party pane in the bottom row of System Preferences that you wish to remove.

  3. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the third-party pane and select the pop-up option Remove "[name of pane]" Preference Pane.
    remove third party preference pane mac

  4. Enter your admin password if requested to do so.

The above steps should work for most third-party preference panes, but if you want to manually delete a preference pane file from your Mac, here's how.

How to Remove Preference Pane Files Manually

  1. Open a Finder window.

  2. From the Finder menu bar, click the Go menu, hold down the Option (⌥) key, and then select Library in the dropdown menu.

  3. In the Library folder, open the PreferencePanes subfolder.
    manually delete preference pane file

  4. Identify the .prefPane file for the specific preference pane that you want to remove. (If you can't see it, you may need to look in the global system library folder. To open the folder from the Finder menu bar, select Go -> Go to Folder..., type /Library/PreferencePanes and click the Go button.)

  5. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the file and select Move to Trash.

  6. Restart your Mac.

Top Rated Comments

RedTomato Avatar
37 months ago

what would be one good reason to remove them?

Why not read the article and find out? Or just look at the pictures in the article.

EDIT: For the truly lazy, there's no need to go that far. It's covered in the second paragraph of the OP's summary above you.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
homonto Avatar
37 months ago
what would be one good reason to remove them?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ike1707 Avatar
37 months ago
I just want to know how to remove the preinstalled social media integration for Facebook, Twitter and the like. Which should not come preinstalled on any OS in my opinion.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elvisimprsntr Avatar
37 months ago

what would be one good reason to remove them?

Someone likely thumbed though a NIST or other macOS hardening guide and discovered you could remove the system preference GUI to make it more difficult for users to modify security related settings.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr_Brightside_@ Avatar
37 months ago
Is it possible to move Panes? It really irks me how they've moved Startup Disk in 10.12/.13
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...