How can I remove iTunes from my Mac?

I've tried to delete it via Terminal and using the app AppCleaner. No luck.

cd /Applications/
sudo rm -rf iTunes.app/

Results in: Operation not permitted

I also tried to change iTunes.app to "Read Write" for everyone but macOS won't allow me to do that even as root.

  • Is there a specific goal for removal? Most of the time setting an alternate app to open files, not looking at the app, or hiding it from view is easier than getting system modifications for something that wasn't designed to be removed.
    – bmike
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 17:16
  • I moved it to a folder outside of /Applications. I still get annoying "iTunes cannot be opened because of a problem" messages. I'm not sure what is triggering them, but they are very persistent. I moved the message window to another workspace and just ignore it.
    – intuited
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


I'm pretty sure you have to disable SIP to uninstall pre-installed apps.

System Integrity Protection is a security technology in OS X El Capitan and later that's designed to help prevent potentially malicious software from modifying protected files and folders on your Mac. System Integrity protection restricts the root user account and limits the actions that the root user can perform on protected parts of the Mac operating system.

System Integrity Protection includes protection for these parts of the system:

• Apps that are pre-installed with OS X

  • 1
    I really don't want to do that :/. I just want to get rid of iTunes since I never use it and it's just bloatware in my opinion.
    – Dennis
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 12:45
  • Dennis, a few things.. First of all, I just went and deleted my iTunes without any issues. Before I did that, I made sure SIP was on. Then I tried uninstalling other apps, like Calculator and stuff and I wasn't able to.. Don't know what's going on there. — I wanted to mention that you can disable SIP, remove the apps and turn it back on. — On iOS I would 100% agree about the bloatware thing, but on Mac, in any configuration you have enough disk space not to worry about iTunes hogging too much and depending on how you got things setup, you don't really need to see it ever...
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 22:49
  • How can you unprotect junk apps like iTunes, iPhoto, etc?
    – Tilo
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 20:54
  • 3
    @Tilo, I've not tried to delete every app that comes with the OS, but I believe it should be possible if you disable SIP. You can find instructions if you Google "how to disable SIP". I'm writing this on mobile, but the gist of it is: 1.Restart and hold down Cmd+R until you see apple logo 2.Open terminal from the top menu and type in csrutil disable; reboot press enter. 3.Computer should boot in normally. SIP should be disabled and you should be able to Uninstall those apps. — To turn it back on, repeat steps 1 and 2 with the exception of executing csrutil enable; reboot in the terminal.
    – Joonas
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 21:09
  • 3
    @Tilo, I forgot to mention something... Just to be on the safe side, after you're all done and you've ran the command to enable SIP again, you may want to run a terminal command csrutil status to see if it worked. It should return a new line with something like System Integrity Protection status: enabled. You can run this command anywhere with the Terminal, you don't have to boot into the recovery mode (like you had to before). You can just open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app and paste the command there. Just so you can rest assured that SIP was indeed turned back on.
    – Joonas
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 8:53

You must log in to answer this question.

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