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A simple way to disable Apple menu items System
There are some previously posted tips on the subject of removing items from the Apple menu. However, this one works without deleting lines or using a special editor for the configuration file. Try this:
  1. Change to the right directory:
    cd /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A\
  2. Make a backup of, and then edit the, objects.xib file:
    sudo cp objects.xib objects_old.xib
    sudo pico objects.xib
  3. Insert a hide or disabled tag after the first line of the menu item you wish to remove. You can use either of the below syntaxes:
    <boolean name="hidden">TRUE</boolean>
    <boolean name="disabled">TRUE</boolean>
    Here's an example for hiding the "Mac OS X Software" item:
    <object class="IBCarbonMenuItem" id="221">
      <boolean name="hidden">TRUE</boolean>
      <string name="title">Mac OS X Software _</string>
      <ostype name="command">soft</ostype>
    Save the file with a Control-X, and then restart the Finder.
That's it! If you have a system in another language, you have to edit your language file too. For a German system, for instance, edit the StandardMenus.nib file in the German.lproj folder, in the same spot as the English.lproj folder shown above.

Read on for a quick tip on making Software Update only accessible for Admin users...

If you want completely hide "Software Update" for Users, but not for the admin, do this. Logged in as admin, move the Software Update control panel into your home directory:
sudo mv /System/Library/PreferencePanes/SoftwareUpdate.prefPane ~/
Then open the panel and install it only for admin, so a folder /Library/PerferencesPanes is created and the ControlPanel is inside. After this, move the application itself into the Admin's Home directory, so you can't open it in the "About Macintosh" menu as a user:
sudo mv /System/Library/CoreServices/Software\ /~
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A simple way to disable Apple menu items | 4 comments | Create New Account
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A simple way to disable Apple menu items
Authored by: RMN on Apr 29, '05 10:40:48AM

An even easier way is to alter the permissions on the Software Update Application itself; all you have to do is block read access to the application from all non-admistrators.
1) Select the Software Update application and do a get info.
2) Authenticate and change the access for everyone from read only to no access. You might need to temporarily change the owner to yourself.
3) If you are not a member of the wheel group, why an admin wouldn't be is beyond me- you can check by going into the Terminal and typing groups, if you are one it will print wheel in the result- change the group to admin.
4) Set the owner back to system.
5) Enjoy your new locked down software update.

I've been doing this for over 3 months with no problems. Have fun!

[ Reply to This | # ]
A simple way to disable Apple menu items
Authored by: gripp on May 24, '05 06:31:36AM

Yes, with this way you cant start the softwareupdate. I tried this first too, but if you choose "about this mac" you can push the button softwareupadate and the looking for updates runs endlessly. So - if nobody see the menu or the software, nobody ask me: I started the software update an nothing happens....

In addition, the hint explains how to modify the applemenu - thats the reason for i posted it to macosxhints.

Sorry for my bad english...

[ Reply to This | # ]
A simple way to disable Apple menu items
Authored by: El Mariachi on Oct 04, '05 12:26:05PM

"disabled" doesn't work (under 10.4.2) but "hidden" does.

[ Reply to This | # ]
A simple way to disable Apple menu items
Authored by: Ellsworth on Aug 23, '09 03:59:38PM
Many thanks to "gripp" and "RMN" for their solutions - the info was exactly what I was needing. A comment about gripp's post: There is a grievous typographical error in the last Terminal command example. I think that the last line should read:
sudo mv /System/Library/CoreServices/Software ~/
It happens to all of us! Cheers, Ellsworth The last two characters were transposed in his post, which could cause a dramatically undesirable result (which I discovered when I copied & pasted the command into Terminal - eek!).

[ Reply to This | # ]