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Easy way to delete preference panes System
I have been using Macs since my 128k Mac back in 1984 and have always considered myself a most knowledgeable Mac users but I often find features I did not know were there.

I have always deleted preference panes, by going into the various preference pane folders (/Library/Preference Panes and ~/Library/Preference Panes) and deleting the preference pane that I wanted to get rid of.

I found out yesterday that right-clicking or Control-clicking on the preference pane you want to delete brings up a contextual menu saying "Remove [preference pane name] preference pane".

I don't know how many people know about this but it was new to me.

[kirkmc adds: I've known this for a while, but have also found a handful of cases where this doesn't work. I don't currently have any preference panes installed that won't display this menu, but I suspect it has something to do with whether they are in /Library or not...]
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Easy way to delete preference panes
Authored by: t-bone on Oct 27, '06 12:46:36PM

Doesn't work with the Processor pref pane I previously installed on my Core Duo MBP to turn on /off cores.

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Easy way to delete preference panes
Authored by: morespace54 on Oct 27, '06 01:32:14PM

Here's an other trick: simply drag it out of the pref pane! ;-)

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Not always a good idea...
Authored by: Mechanist on Oct 27, '06 01:47:23PM

As someone who's written a few preference panes I thought I'd point out the pitfalls of this technique.

Preference panes are generally installed to configure and/or control some sort of service, typically something that runs in the background. Unlike an application, the software that a pref pane controls may be running even when System Preferences is not open. Think of activating file sharing, for example, or something like Kensington Mouseworks.

If you delete the pref pane, the service it's controlling will not be stopped. There's nothing in this technique that'll tell the pref pane that it should do anything to stop or clean things up, so any necessary steps will not be done.

What's more, the service the pref pane is providing will have been scheduled somehow with the system-- maybe in /Library/StartupItems, maybe with launchd, or maybe by adding something to your account's login items. Removing a pref pane in as described in this post will not clear this up either.

In short, the technique described here should probably not be used unless the developer has failed to provide any other method. If there's an uninstaller, please use it.

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Introduced in Tiger
Authored by: mag on Oct 27, '06 06:31:20PM

If I remember well, this feature was introduced with Tiger.

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Easy way to delete preference panes
Authored by: ruminator on Oct 31, '06 08:16:44PM
I find that AppZapper does it all and completely. Well worth the 13 bucks.

- The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

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Easy way to delete preference panes
Authored by: dvsjr on Jan 07, '07 08:26:23AM

yeah maybe appzapper does something for apps, but it doesn' work on pref panes, and so its useless in this conversation. In answering people's posts with crit, maybe explain the proper way to remove a pref pane. People writing in that they are actual pref pane devs and not putting in the proper answer adds nothing to the collective. Just sayin.

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Easy way to delete preference panes
Authored by: jodiks on Jan 07, '07 12:20:00PM

Actually AppZapper does delete preference panes since v 1.2 (it's now at v 1.8) and at $12.95 with free upgrades for life I think it's a pretty good deal.

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