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How to Hide Mac Apps in macOS via the Terminal

Posted by Jim Tanous on December 10, 2018
hide app mac

Sometimes you may want to hide certain apps in macOS without actually uninstalling them. This may be because you still want access to the apps in the future, or because you don’t want users of the Mac to launch the app via Finder, or even when dealing with built-in Apple apps which aren’t always a good idea to remove.
Thankfully, macOS has some powerful file management features that allows users to easily hide (and later show) files and even apps. So if there’s a particular app that you want to hide, here’s how to do it.

Hide Mac Apps via Terminal

  1. Find the app you want to hide. In our example, we’ll use Microsoft OneDrive.
  2. hide apps mac

  3. Launch Terminal and use the following command, simply changing the corresponding app name to suit your own situation.
  4. sudo chflags -h hidden "/Applications/[App Name].app"

    hide apps mac terminal command

  5. Since this is a superuser command, enter your admin password when prompted. Once you do, the designated app will immediately disappear from Finder.
  6. hide apps mac hidden

  7. Note, however, that the app is merely hidden and not deleted. You can still access it via Spotlight, and it will still launch when opening an associated file type or if it’s configured to run at boot or via a script.

hidden app visible in spotlight
To unhide a hidden app, repeat the steps above but use the nohidden flag instead:

sudo chflags -h nohidden "/Applications/[App Name].app"

Hiding Protected Apple Apps

The steps above will work for most third party apps and even some Apple apps. But if you try it with certain built-in Apple apps like News or Safari, you’ll receive an “Operation not permitted” error. This is because certain apps are protected by System Integrity Protection (SIP), a security feature introduced in El Capitan that protects what Apple deems to be critical system files.
To hide or otherwise modify these protected apps and files, you’ll therefore need to disable SIP, at least temporarily. Once SIP is disabled, you can repeat the steps above to hide the desired built-in apps, and then re-enable SIP when you’re done to ensure that your Mac remains protected.

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