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I would like to completely uninstall FaceTime for macOS.

Dragging and dropping the icon into the Trash gives me this error message:

“FaceTime” can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by macOS.

Running this command:

$ sudo rm -rf FaceTime.app/

Gives me a series of:

Operation not permitted

Is there any way to uninstall FaceTime?

  • I'm slightly hesitant to flag this as a duplicate of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/240632/… because I think it's probably even harder to remove FaceTime than iTunes or Chess etc & possibly would have more serious consequences. – Tetsujin May 8 at 15:33
  • Do you want to ensure that FaceTime cannot be used? Because there are conceivably better methods for doing that. Or something else? The app, which is only 10Mb in size, is just a front end for a variety of APIs within the OS. You can even initiate FaceTime from Messages.app. So it may be possible to access FaceTime without the app itself. – benwiggy May 8 at 15:48
  • My answer would be don’t uninstall system frameworks or apps. Perhaps there is a compelling reason for this request? – bmike May 8 at 20:48
  • @Tetsujin I would expect it to be different than removing iTunes or Chess. – Brian Spiering May 9 at 3:08
  • 2
    @BrianSpiering Yes, but why? Is it to prevent FaceTime being used, or just to save disk space? Knowing the reason might provide a better answer. – benwiggy May 9 at 6:32
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You do not need to disable System Integrity Protection (SIP).

To delete the FaceTime app, do the following:

  1. Backup FaceTime.app via Time Machine or making a Zip archive.

    • For the Zip archive, right-click it and select: Compress "FaceTime"
  2. Shutdown your Mac.

  3. Boot to Recovery Mode. Press ⌘R when starting your Mac.

  4. Open Terminal from the Utilities menu.

  5. Run the following compound command adjusting Macintosh HD as necessary if you've modified the default name of the primary startup volume:

    rm -r "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/FaceTime.app"; reboot
    
  6. After rebooting from Recovery Mode, if you still have the FaceTime icon on the Dock, right-click it and select: Options > Remove from Dock


Note that while this does remove the FaceTime.app, it may/will reappear when macOS is updated/upgraded and will need to be deleted again.

If after having done this and you want to restore the FaceTime app, then restore it using Time Machine, if you backed it up in that manner, or if you created the Zip archive, it would have been created in the /Applications folder, if you moved it elsewhere, move it back and then do the following:

  1. Shutdown your Mac.

  2. Boot to Recovery Mode. Press ⌘R when starting your Mac.

  3. Open Terminal from the Utilities menu.

  4. Run the following compound command adjusting Macintosh HD as necessary if you've modified the default name of the primary startup volume:

    cd "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications"; ../usr/bin/unzip FaceTime.zip; reboot
    

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