Is it safe to delete some bulky fonts stored on OS X, such as the ones shown below?

What's the worst that can happen? Would things simply disappear or if a font can't be found will it just be replaced by another, possibly lower quality one?

EDIT: Talking about library/fonts here, not the System Fonts

Fonts with large file sizes

  • All Apple-provided fonts are stored in /System/Library/Fonts, which is SIP-protected in El Capitan. So if you really are so short on disk space that removing some fonts (which all together use about 370 MB) is an option you'll need to disable SIP to do so.
    – nohillside
    Oct 28, 2015 at 10:59
  • @patrix Updated answer with your details regarding SIP on El Capitan. Thank you for the information!
    – AruAkise
    Oct 28, 2015 at 11:05

1 Answer 1


Deleting any fonts in /System will require the disablement of System Integrity Protection ("rootless feature") on OS X El Capitan. SIP reduces the potential attack surface for system exploits; disablement is not recommended.

The recommended method of deletion for any other fonts is through Font Book (rather than a direct deletion using Finder, Terminal or a cleanup application).

This question and accepted answer were originally linked to a Lion issue, but the basis should still apply:

You can save several dozen megabytes by deleting certain Asian fonts if you don't need them. Don't delete system fonts directly in the Finder.

Rather, do it through the Apple Font Book application, which will prevent you from deleting the "reserved" system fonts that Mac OS X expects to see when it boots up, but permit you to delete "non-essential" fonts.

If OS X is unable to render the character set with the required font, it is likely that a "substitute symbol character" will appear instead.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .