How to Uninstall Mac System Extensions

2023-11-18 · 1 min read

Recently, I discovered that there were some leftover system extensions on my Mac from applications long deleted. I quickly discovered that there was no simple way to remove them, and had to jump through quite a bit more hoops than I was expecting.

For anyone that wishes to remove these extensions on the latest versions of macOS (these instructions apply to at least Sonoma), you can follow the steps below to permanently remove system extensions from your system:

  1. Boot into Recovery Mode

    • On M1 Macs, shutdown the computer completely. Turn on the computer and hold the power button for ~10 seconds. Click on the Options button, and continue.
    • On Intel Macs, reboot or turn on the Mac from shutdown. As it is booting up, hold ⌘+R until the Options button appears. Click on the button to continue.
  2. From the Apple Menu, select Utilities > Terminal. In the terminal, run the command csrutil disable. This will allow you to edit the system extension list upon rebooting.

  3. Reboot and login to the appropriate user account

  4. Within a terminal app, run systemextensionsctl list

    • This will generate a list of all existing extensions, shown in the image below (note the teamID and bundleID):

      systemextensionsctl list

  5. Run the following commands:

    # Use the following format
    systemextensionsctl uninstall <teamID> <bundleId>

    # Example
    systemextensionsctl uninstall TC3Q7MAJXDF

    You can run systemextensionsctl list again to validate that the appropriate extension has been uninstalled. Rinse and repeat for any other extensions that you would like to remove.

Author: Alexander Perepechko

A software engineer who has a life-long obsession with videogames. Enjoys all sorts of programming and tech; also an avid coffee lover.