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Often 3rd party kernel extensions (aka Kexts) are the cause of problems on macOS systems. One tell-tale sign is a system that boots okay in Safe Mode and doesn't reproduce the problems a user may be experiencing when booted normally. While this doesn't guarantee the problem is a 3rd party kernel extension, it's certainly one of the more likely causes.

How does a user identify what 3rd part kernel extensions are installed on their Mac?

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You can identify 3rd party kernel extensions (Kexts) via Terminal.

More specifically:

  1. Launch the Terminal app (found within your Applications > Utilites folder)
  2. Type (or copy and paste) the following command:

kextstat | grep -v com.apple

  1. Press Enter
  2. Within moments Terminal will list all 3rd party kernel extensions (Note: you may need to stretch the Terminal window so it's easier to read).

If you’re having issues with your Mac, you can use the above process to identify any 3rd party extensions you don't remember installing, or something that belongs to software you no longer use.

Please note that this is a list of all 3rd party kernel extensions and any of them could be causing the problem.

  • 1
    Give some 3rd party kernel extensions returned by kextstat | grep -v com.apple, how would I remove them? – Zach Jun 24 at 20:34
  • sudo kextunload /Library/Extensions/{something}.kext – rcoup Sep 10 at 9:17

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