How do I remove Safari from my Mac, OS 10.14.3? Is this at all possible?

I have tried to drag it to the trash bin and it does say Safari is required by the OS but I wondered whether there was a way round this at all.

I've also tried sudo rm -rf Safari.app/ but it says operation not permitted

  • 1
    You can delete it from the command line while booted to the Recovery HD; however; macOS Updates will restore it if it's included in the update. – user3439894 Apr 12 '19 at 0:52
  • you last command won't work because Safari.app is really a folder/directory. If you right click on Safai you should get an option to Show package contents. – jmh Apr 12 '19 at 1:44
  • I googled "mac remove safari" and found several sites with methods to remove and/or disable safari. – jmh Apr 12 '19 at 1:46
  • @jmh, It doesn't work when booted normally because of SIP and ACLs, which if you read my first comment it's the fastest way as neither SIP of ACLs need to be modified because the root shell from the Recovery HD will just do it, e.g. rm -r /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Applications/Safari.app – user3439894 Apr 12 '19 at 1:54
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    why bother. just don't use safari. make some other web browser your default browser. osxdaily.com/2007/04/06/… – historystamp Apr 12 '19 at 19:34

The correct answer in this case is "Don't do that; you're asking for trouble." Safari is heavily integrated into the OS. Removing/disabling Safari is bound to eventually get you into a situation where an API malfunctions and you'll drive the poor person trying to help you insane.

I dare ask why you would want to remove Safari given that there is no advantage in doing so. You can remove IE from Windows or bash from a Linux distro, but the 26 MB you'll save won't be worth the anguish of having macOS eat its tail at some point down the road.

  • @WilfriedSmith, it is because there is no satisfactory answer to this question apple.stackexchange.com/questions/118206/… and I cannot seem to block the websites I need to – atreeon Dec 19 '19 at 18:22
  • @atreeon Regardless, it's a stretch to go from "I don't want to browse certain web sites" to "I want to delete part of the OS." Safari has an API that can be used to easily block sites, so there are dozens of third-party extensions that will do what you're asking. – Wilfred Smith Dec 19 '19 at 19:28
  • unfortunately I was having difficulty finding a free to use website blocker but yesterday I found ColdTurkey which seems to do most of what I required. The way in which the mac relies on safari means that it is not easy and is dangerous to remove safari so I agree with you it is not viable but it is certainly worth a question. In fact I did this in Windows and removed Internet Explorer and only had Firefox and Chrome installed, this worked well. – atreeon Dec 20 '19 at 12:17

On macOS, there are restrictions for root user to prevent crashing your Mac integrity and stability. Removing Safari is risky and useless, that’s why macOS prevents that. Not to mention you don't really save much disk space doing this.

You need to disable System Integrity Protection (SIP). Do this with csrutil disable command. You can only use it in macOS recovery mode using Terminal.

Do that by rebooting your Mac with Command+R keys held down. there will be a utilities menu, select Terminal and type that command in. When it is done reboot normally.

Do not forget to re-enable SIP with csrutil enable again in macOS recovery mode once you have deleted the safari.app.

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