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.
    – ICL1901
    Jun 19 '15 at 4:32
  • Saving yourself a whole 7.3 Megabytes!
    – benwiggy
    Nov 8 '21 at 13:21

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

  • You caught me.. Deleting apps is more fun than working.. Thanks for the tip. Now I can go to town.
    – ICL1901
    Jun 19 '15 at 4:22
  • 2
    On 10.11 (El Capitan) this fails with Operation not permitted. 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. 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. Jan 17 '19 at 21:56

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.

  • 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.
    – ICL1901
    Jun 19 '15 at 4:24

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.
  • As of macOS 11 Big Sur, csrutil authenticated-root disabled must also be run, and the root volume must be mounted to a temporary mount point with sudo mount -o nobrowse -t apfs [path to disk] [mount path], then the volume must be blessed after editing it with sudo bless --folder [mount path]/System/Library/CoreServices --bootefi --create-snapshot (taken from here
  • Turning authenticated-root on after modifying the root volume on macOS 11 > and editing it will cause boot looping.

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