How to Remove Preference Panes From Your Mac

One-click removal of user-installed preference panes

Hand Removing One of Wood Blocks Against White Background.

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Apple allows third-party developers to add panes to the bottom row of System Preferences in Mac OS X and macOS. Early versions of OS X included the system preferences category names at the beginning of each row in the window. With the advent of OS X Mavericks, Apple removed the category names, though they retained the organization.

With the Other category available to app developers as a place for their preference creations to be housed, you may find that you collect a number of preference panes as you install and try out various apps and utilities. Here's how to remove ones you don't want.

Instructions in this article apply to all versions of Mac OS X and macOS.

How to Remove Preference Panes Manually

Knowing how to manually delete a preference pane can be helpful if the uninstall method fails to work, which can happen with poorly written preference panes or ones that have accidentally had their file permissions set incorrectly.

Here's where the preference panes are on your Mac and how to delete them.

  1. In the Finder, click the name of your computer under Locations.

    Computer name in Locations
  2. Select Macintosh HD.

  3. Open the Library folder.

    Library folder
  4. Scroll down and select the folder called PreferencePanes.

    PreferencePane folder in macOS Finder
  5. Drag any panes you don't want to the Trash or highlight them and press Delete on your keyboard.

This procedure lets you access the panes that anyone on your computer can use. If you have multiple accounts, access the folder for each user by going to Library > PreferencePanes in their home folder.

How to Delete Preference Panes from System Preferences

Here's how to remove preference panes with just a click or two:

  1. Launch System Preferences by selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu or clicking its icon in the Dock.

    System Preferences in macOS
  2. The System Preferences will open. The preference panes you can modify are in the bottom row.

    Sharing category in System Preferences
  3. Right-click the pan you want to delete.

  4. Select Remove Preference Pane from the pop-up menu.

    Remove Preference Pane in System Preferences
  5. Your Mac will remove the preference pane, no matter where it is on the hard drive.