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I'm trying to edit /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Info.plist on my MacOS Ventura (13.01) to be able to quit Finder (remove from tab switcher):

m@ms-MacBook-Pro ~ % csrutil status                                                    
System Integrity Protection status: disabled.
m@ms-MacBook-Pro ~ % ls -lO /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Info.plist
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  restricted,compressed 12331 Oct 28 10:43 /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Info.plist

Any hint on how to remove restriction? I've tried mount / but without luck:

m@ms-MacBook-Pro ~ % sudo mount -uw /                                                  
Password:
mount_apfs: volume could not be mounted: Permission denied
mount: / failed with 66
m@ms-MacBook-Pro ~ % 
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    The system volume is sealed. You can’t change its contents.
    – lhf
    Dec 10, 2022 at 11:29
  • @Ihf actually, technically you can modify the system volume, but this requires a lot of effort (unsealing, mounting, sealing/blessing the changed files).. but it's pointless for most, since it'll get overwritten by macOS updates later anyway. But for many system apps, there are some features you can change using defaults command, without needing to break the SSV protection. See the answer below for the quit option for finder. Also the app Prefs Editor can perform these defaults commands in a GUI, which is useful if you don't know what things you can modify in each app.
    – AVelj
    Dec 11, 2022 at 4:44

2 Answers 2

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...to be able to quit finder (remove from tab switcher)

You can add a Quit menu item to the Finder with the following command:

defaults write com.apple.finder QuitMenuItem -bool true

You will need to relaunch the Finder after this.

Direct modification of the core System is increasingly impossible, and there are often other methods of achieving your goal.

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  • Thank you so much. It worked. Out of curiosity is not possible to edit restricted files anymore? Seems like an extreme move from apple. Dec 10, 2022 at 14:26
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    @MotiKorets The System lives on a separate, read-only disk volume, and is cryptographically sealed: it is checked for integrity at every boot. It's widely considered to be a beneficial security feature.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 10, 2022 at 14:37
  • @MotiKorets It's still possible but it's a giant PITA. You need to disable SSV and then mount the snapshot and then commit the change and then reboot for your changes to take effect. Dec 11, 2022 at 1:51
  • after dozens of useless tutorials telling me to write to a protected file or reboot into recovery mode, I finally have a solution. you deserve more upvotes!
    – Magus
    Dec 24, 2023 at 2:12
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As an (easier and more powerful) alternative to remembering defaults commands, the app TinkerTool provides another way to change a whole host of hidden preference settings.

For example, in addition to adding the ‘Quit’ option, the Finder settings also let you show hidden and system files, disable sound effects, disable Desktop features, show the full path in window titles, control whether to animate opening info panels and/or categories, avoid creating .DS_Store files on network drives, and hide or show several menu items. There are similar ranges of options for the Dock, Launchpad, Desktop, the Terminal, Mail, Music, Safari, and a range of general UI options. I find it an extremely useful utility, even if you only change one or two settings.

(Disclaimer: I've no connection to this app other than as a happy user for many years. It makes no OS changes, has no background processes, and installs no dæmons or agents or anything else — it simply sets the existing OS preference settings.)

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