How to Remove and Organize the Preference Panes in Mac

Customize Macos System Preferences

Your Mac’s System Preferences are collectively a central hub that provides everything you need to control and customize pretty much every part of your Mac – but do you need all those preference panes? If there are some settings that you rarely use, you can streamline your System Preferences by removing, and even deleting, unwanted preference panes.

Here we show how you can remove and organize Preferences Panes in macOS.

Hide any macOS preference pane

Although it’s not possible to permanently delete any of macOS’s built-in preference panes, it is possible to hide them:

1. Launch the “System Preferences” application.

2. In the toolbar, select “View -> Customize … ”

You can customize macOS' System Preferences window, via the "View > Customize..." menu.

3. A checkbox will now appear alongside every item in the System Preferences window. To hide a preference pane, deselect its accompanying checkbox.

You can hide and reveal any of macOS' built-in preference panes.

4. Once you’ve finished making your changes, select “View -> Customize.”

All of the deselected preference panes will now be hidden from the System Preferences window.

How to Restore a Hidden Preference

If you change your mind, you can restore a hidden preference pane at any point:

1. In System Preferences, select “View -> Customize … ” This will reveal all the System Preferences panes.

2. Find the setting you want to restore and click its accompanying checkbox.

3. To save your changes, select “View -> Customize.”

This preference pane will now appear in the System Preferences menu.

Hiding a preference pane isn’t the same as deleting it, so you can access a hidden preference pane at any time. To access a hidden pane, open the “View” drop-down – this contains a list of all of macOS’s built-in preference panes, including any that are hidden.

How to Delete Third-Party Panes

Some third-party applications have a nasty habit of adding their own panes to the System Preferences window, without asking your permission.

To remove a third-party pane, open your System Preferences application. You can then Control-click the pane in question and select “Remove … ”

If this method doesn’t work, you may get positive results by deleting the file associated with this preference pane:

1. Open a “Finder” window.

2. In the Mac toolbar, select “Go -> Go to folder.”

3. In the subsequent popup, enter the following: “/Library/PreferencePanes.”

4. Click “Go.”

You should now be viewing the “PreferencePanes” folder, which contains the files representing all your third-party preference panes You can now find the file that corresponds to the unwanted preference and drag it to the Trash.

As you can see, it is easy to customize the System Preferences and hide preference panes in Mac. You can also hide desktop icons or hide user accounts from the login screen.

Jessica Thornsby
Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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