According to Font Book, I have 260 fonts installed on my system. Many of them are for languages which do not affect me.

Three such fonts are Al Bayan, Al Nile and Al Tarikh, Arabic fonts which I do not read.

I have tried to disable some fonts, but I get the message:

enter image description here

The selected fonts cannot be disabled.

The current selection contains protected fonts, which cannot be
disabled. Please unselect these fonts and try again.

I understand that I can probably delete them.

Why can’t I disable them? Is there a potential problem if I delete them (or move them to an archive folder)?

  • Enumerate some of the fonts this happens with, add them to your original question. Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


The fonts you are trying to disable are used by the System and hence are protected. You could still try to delete those fonts but I would not advise that.

I suggest you start over and try deleting one font at a time. if the font you try to disable is dimmed out then it is a system font. Use the disable button in font book to diable the fonts. This is shown below.

enter image description here

  • The only dimmed out fonts I have are the ones which are already disabled.
    – Manngo
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 21:42
  • If you open Font Book and select Computer from left sidebar, you should see many fonts that are dimmed out.
    – Natsfan
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 23:00

It's actually not that difficult to strip down your fonts to a more manageable number but you can't do it with Font Book. I suggest visiting Font Management in macOS for detailed information and instructions about this and other font-management tasks. I have found the information on there to be very reliable.

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