There are a lot of applications that I have no use for that take up space on my Mac that I want to delete.

When ever I try to delete them it says that it is an essential part of the OS but with Chess.app, I find that reason specious at best.

closed as too broad by bmike Sep 5 '15 at 14:49

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Is your question why Apple thinks Chess is an essential part of the OS or how to delete programs that Apple considers essential? – Daniel Nov 8 '11 at 22:38
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    On Yosemite this is no longer the case. A simple drag-and-drop to the trash works fine. – crmpicco Apr 25 '15 at 20:55
  • I'm placing this on hold. It served it's purpose in 2011, but we'll want a more detailed question if you have this issue today. Please specify your OS, what apps need to be removed and why. 10.11 system protection will complicate things even further so this is no longer a general, one size fits all question technically. – bmike Sep 5 '15 at 14:50
  • @bmike Not ready to ask this question yet, but I would seriously like to uninstall the app store. I do NOT want to have to have an Apple Id to update any software and I'm sick of being notified of upgrades of software I never use and which I can't update anyway because I won't enter my Apple Id. – Michael May 6 '16 at 17:29

Select the application you would like to remove and Get Info on it, either Command + i or from the Menu File>Get Info.

At the bottom of the resulting window, in the Sharing & Permissions section, change the "everyone" setting to "Read & Write". You will probably have to click the lock in the lower right corner first and authenticate as an administrator.

Once the setting is change, close the Get Info window. You should be able to move the application to the Trash without any trouble.

  • 4
    Altought I have clicked the lock icon and unlock it OS doesn't allow me to give read and write permission. – Olcay Ertaş Sep 16 '15 at 6:54
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    Like @OlcayErtaş, we get The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have the necessary permission. – Cœur Mar 23 '16 at 1:06

Everyone knows the damage that comes with the use of sudo. However, it will help out for this situation.

  • Open your terminal and go to the Applications directory.

    $ cd /Applications
  • To view your currently installed apps

    $ ls
  • Locate the application desired to be deleted

    >>>WITH CAUTION<<<

    $ sudo rm -rf application.name

This will force to recursively remove application.name directory and all sub directories. Again, this operation is permanent and cannot be undone. If you are unsure of the application that you are removing then you probably shouldn't.

  • 1
    This is probably the easiest way to do it. sudo rm -rf Chess.app/ done it for me. – crmpicco Jul 8 '15 at 21:13
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    Even though I use sudo, it shows "Operation not permitted" – Alex May 12 '17 at 10:51
  • @Alex did you resolve the "Operation not permitted" error? – Stefan Dunn Jun 25 '18 at 1:17

The games don't take up that much space and if you don't bother trying to delete the applications now, you may save yourself the time in working out how to delete these 'unwanted' apps and also saved the time required to fix your installation later.

Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if during a later software update Mac OS tries to reinstall some of these applications. Then you may have to delete them all over again.


That warning is there for a reason for that warning, I wouldn't suggest deleting those apps since they don't take up much space anyway... if your really tight on space try an app like Monolingual which can delete unused languages and incompatible binaries (duplicates of programs made to run on older Macs). The 2 combined will save you several gb off your lion hard disk

  • It's free btw! :) – Alexander Sep 2 '11 at 1:24

I would recommend NOT deleting any apps native to the OS. Deleting these apps now may seem harmless, but you never know when that will bite you down the road. Software update and other update look for those during the update process, and trying to put such apps back can get complicated.

Go to the Apple site and try to find with app to download. The only place you will find them is in the OS installation package.

You are better off by far doing the Monolingual thing, and using an external drive for data storage, if your data is that large.

It's false economy to skimp on drive space. You will pay dearly in the end, somewhere down the road.


While experimenting a bit further, I think that I may have solved the problem without using Terminal, which I have no experience with.

I selected the unwanted application, got information on it, unlocked the Sharing and Permissions, and changed every listed user name to be able to read and write. I then closed the "Get Info" window and selected the application again and control-clicked it and chose the "Move to Trash" command.

This successfully moved the chosen application to the Trash where I was able to delete it without getting the window saying that the application was necessary to the operating system. I was not able to do this by only changing the permissions for my user account. It was necessary to change all of the user account permissions.

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