Removing pre-installed OSX applications

By | January 17, 2015

I bought a Macbook Air and am very happy with it. It is light (only 1.35kg for 13″), fast and beautiful. However if you only opted for the 128GB SSD you do have limited space, and the Macbook Air comes with a lot of pre-installed applications that I wont ever use, so I removed them.

For example I wont ever play the game Chess, but if you try and drag Chess.app from the Applications folder to the Trash you will get a warning “Chess can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by OS X.”

Now instead of completely deleting the files (in case it breaks a future OSX update) what I did was fired up Terminal and did the following.

mkdir SystemApps
cd /Applications/
sudo mv Chess.app ~/SystemApps/

That moved Chess to the SystemApps folder in my home directory. Once I move all the applications that I don’t want, I then move the SystemApps to an external hard drive and it saves around 2GB of data.

The applications that I (re)move from my Macbook Air are the following.

  • Calendar.app
  • Chess.app
  • Contacts.app
  • FaceTime.app
  • Game Center.app
  • Mail.app
  • Maps.app
  • Messages.app
  • Safari.app
  • Stickies.app
  • TextEdit.app
  • iBooks.app
  • iPhoto.app
  • iTunes.app
  • Photo Booth.app
  • Quicktime Player.app
  • Time Machine.app

I use Google Chrome, GMail, Google Maps, Google Books, CalenMob, Sublime Text and VLC. I don’t have an iPhone or iPad so have no need for iTunes, nor do I play any games.

Once that is all done, I clean up the ~/Library/Caches folder by deleting unused cache folders for Safari, and any other applications I never use.