It is possible to open a specific section (sub section) of the GUI System Preferences via command line terminal?

Example: If I want to open just the main System Preferences window, I just run open /Applications/System\ Preferences.app/ but what about (for example) I want to open the System Preferences > Security and Privacy section?

Thank you so much in advance for your help.

2 Answers 2


You have to know where the actual PreferencePane resides. Just supply the full path to the section you want.

For Apple supplied PreferencePanes it's easy:

open /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Security.prefPane

opens your desired System Preferences > Security and Privacy.

Other preferencePanes might be found at /Library/PreferencePanes or ~/Library/PreferencePanes


You can use the following AppleScript:

tell application "System Preferences"
    reveal pane "Security\n& Privacy"
end tell

In the shell, you'll need to wrap this inside an osascript command. The best solution will depend on what your exact workflow is, e.g. whether you want to do this as part of a script.

You must log in to answer this question.

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