If you use a Mac, youâ€™ve probably configured your machine with System Preferences, which includes individual configuration sections called â€œpreference panes.â€� But few people know that you can easily hide or even remove those panes. Hereâ€™s how to do it.
How to Hide Built-In System Preference Panes
You canâ€™t permanently remove macOSâ€™s built-in System Preference panesâ€”and thatâ€™s probably a good thingâ€”but you can hide them, which may come in handy if youâ€™d like to simplify settings for computer novice such as a child or older relative.
First, open â€œSystem Preferences.â€� In the menu bar at the top of the screen, select View > Customize.
After that, you will notice that the System Preferences window will change to include small check boxes beside each icon. Uncheck the icons youâ€™d like to hide, then click the â€œDoneâ€� button near the top of the window.
When you return to the regular icon display, you will notice that the icons you unchecked are now hidden. Very handy!
To get a hidden icon or icons back, just visit View > Customize again and add a check mark for each icon you would like to unhide. They will reappear as soon as you click â€œDone.â€�
How to Remove a Third-Party Preference Pane in System Preferences
If youâ€™ve installed an app that adds a custom preference pane, it will show up near the bottom of the main System Preferences window by default.
Itâ€™s possible to remove a third-party preference pane easily, but if you remove it, the third-party pane will be deleted from your system permanently. You wonâ€™t be able to get it back without reinstalling the program that originally put it there.
If thatâ€™s okay and youâ€™d like to proceed, hold down the â€œControlâ€� key and click the icon youâ€™d like to remove. You will see a small pop-up button that says â€œRemove [name] Preference Pane.â€� Click it.
After that, you will be prompted for your password. Enter it and click â€œOK.â€� The third-party preference pane you just removed will instantly disappear.
How to Remove a Third-Party Preference Pane in Finder
Itâ€™s also possible to manually remove a third-party preference pane by locating its actual file in Finder. First, with â€œFinderâ€� in focus, select Go > Go to Folder in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
In the window that pops up, type in
/Library/PreferencePanes , then click â€œGo.â€�
A Finder window will pop up, and it should include files that correspond with the third-party preference panes you see in System Preferences.
(If you donâ€™t find any there, you can also check
Locate the file for the preference pane youâ€™d like to remove, and drag its file into the â€œTrashâ€� icon on your Dock. But be warned: Once you empty your trash, the preference pane will be deleted permanently. The only way to get it back will be to reinstall its associated application.
(If you donâ€™t want to permanently delete the pane file, you could instead drag it out of the folder and store it in a temporary location. To undo the process, just drag the pane file back into the
/Library/PreferencePanes folder later and restart your machine.)
After that, restart your Mac to make sure your changes take place, and the third-party preference pane or panes you removed should be missing the next time you start System Preferences. Mission accomplished.
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