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Why is Chess.app "required by OS X"?

I don't use it, and I can't delete it. Is it really required by the operating system?

  • 1
    and I'm not very good at it. – ICT1901 Jun 19 '15 at 4:32
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It is a crucial component in OS X's anti-boredom technology.

Non-troll answer: Yes, you can delete it.

run this command in Terminal:

sudo rm -rf /Applications/Chess.app

enter your password and push return

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  • You caught me.. Deleting apps is more fun than working.. Thanks for the tip. Now I can go to town. – ICT1901 Jun 19 '15 at 4:22
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    On 10.11 (El Capitan) this fails with Operation not permitted. – Jason Moore Jan 3 '17 at 20:18
  • Yes. On 10.11 and later, SIP (System Integrity Protection) protects Chess, as Apple is now taking anti-boredom a lot more seriously than it once did. I would not recommend disabling SIP though. The OS is designed with SIP being enabled in mind, and disabling it has proven to get a lot of people into a lot of trouble. – William T Froggard Jun 9 '17 at 2:51
  • I have lots of things on my Mac that keep me from getting bored. chess.app is not one of them. Making it impossible to delete chess.app seems like Apple's recent "every upgrade is a downgrade" policy. (Some people will disagree with me about that.) – Mars Nov 6 '17 at 17:13
  • You do not need to disable SIP in order to delete Chess.app on SIP enabled systems, simply boot to Recovery Mode, (⌘R when restarting the Mac), and then in Terminal (on the Utilities menu)... e.g. rm -rf /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Applications/Chess.app and then type reboot and press enter to restart the Mac back to normal mode boot. Obviously if your normal Startup Disk is not Macintosh HD, then substitute the correct name in the command line. – user3439894 Jan 17 '19 at 21:56
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No, it is not required as such, but Chess is, like any other preinstalled application, protected from deletion. There are ways around it, but it's probably not worth the hassle for a meager 5 MB in disk space.

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  • Thanks Patrix. It's not the disk space, its looking through lists of apps and files, and at my age, getting distracted. Anyway, I was just curious. – ICT1901 Jun 19 '15 at 4:24
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Later Mac OS versions have SIP enabled, which prevents you from simply sudoing your troubles away. What you have to do now is:

  • Shut down your machine.
  • Turn it on while holing Cmd-R, which should eventually boot you into recovery mode.
  • Select Utilities > Terminal.
  • Type in csrutil disable to disable SIP.
  • Reboot and let it boot normally.
  • Now you can open up a terminal and do cd /Applications/ && sudo rm -rf Chess.app/
  • When done removing all the unnecessary software, reboot into recovery mode once again, and perform csrutil enable.
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I have deleted Chess.app from every version of Mac OS X and OS X that I've used starting with Mac OS X 10.4.x and have never had an issue from doing so.

You can use AppCleaner to do it, although you first need to uncheck [] Protect default apps in its General Preferences.

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  • Thanks.. Anything else in this category that you delete? – ICT1901 Jun 19 '15 at 4:32
  • Even though I unchecked that option, the app is still blocked with the lock once you are ready to delete it. – Alex May 12 '17 at 10:55
  • @Alex, The OP is tagged for OS X 10.10 Yosemite and this does work as stated under that version and earlier in which AppCleaner provides this functionality. That said, starting with OS X 10.11 El Capitan and later additional measures are needed. – user3439894 May 12 '17 at 16:27
  • Ok, I found that the problem was fixed using the csrutil disable instructions in the terminal. – Alex May 12 '17 at 17:38

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