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How to uninstall System Preferences app on macOS

macOS apps come in different forms; some install as packages, some run entirely from the menu bar, some come as DMG files, and some install to the System Preferences app. Depending how an app is installed, the method for uninstalling it will differ. The easiest apps to uninstall are those that go into the Applications folders. Packages are different and if you need to uninstall a System Preferences app, the method is going to be one you can’t guess. That’s not to say it’s hard. Here’s what you need to do.

Uninstall System Preferences app

Open the System Preferences app and hold down the Control key on your keyboard. Click the app that you want to uninstall and a ‘Remove “app name” Preference Pane’ option will appear. Click it and the app will be uninstalled.

This will remove the app from your Mac. macOS apps don’t install in pieces; if you remove an app from System Preferences, it will be gone from your system. Of course, just because an app shows up in the System Preference doesn’t mean that’s where you have to uninstall it from. This method is for apps that install exclusively to the System Preferences app.

If the app you want to remove appears in the Application folder, that is where you should uninstall it from. Doing so should remove it from the System Preferences as well. If it’s still there, try this method to get rid of it, and a system restart can never hurt.

If an app has been installed to the System Preferences, and the remove option doesn’t appear, or it doesn’t work, chances are that the app might have been installed as a package. These apps are a bit more complicated to remove but if that’s the situation you find yourself in, you will have to uninstall the package itself.

Uninstalling a package requires using the Terminal, or you can find a third-party app that can help manage packages on your system.

Apps that install to the System Preferences aren’t in any way dangerous or bad or poorly developed apps. It’s just that not all apps need to go to the Applications folder, just as not all apps need to run from the Dock or from the Menu bar. The method to uninstall them isn’t very obvious since the System Preferences don’t appear to be editable. Additionally, clicking and holding on them doesn’t make them editable like it does the apps in the Launchpad.

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