How to Delete the Mail App on a Mac


If you don’t use Mail for macOS, removing the app from your Mac makes a lot of sense. Sadly, that’s not easy, convenient, or practical.

Let’s check out what it takes to delete the Mail app on a Mac and discuss whether you should go ahead or just disable and hide the app instead.

Can You Delete the Mail App on Your Mac?

The Mail app is a built-in Apple app that macOS secures with SIP (or Security Integrity Protection). SIP is a feature that prevents a user from modifying the contents of system-related data, which means you can’t remove Mail like an ordinary app on the Mac.

You do have the option to disable SIP and delete the Mail app after that. However, it’s a complicated process, and you cannot reinstall the program afterward without factory resetting your macOS installation.

Various mail-related preferences—such as setting a default email client—are also linked to the Mail app, further complicating things.

A much better way (and the approach we recommended) is to disable and hide the Mail app. It only uses a negligible amount of storage (around 50MB), so it’s not as if the app alone impacts how much space you have.

Whether you want to delete the Mail app from your Mac or just want to disable and hide it, this tutorial will walk you through both methods in detail.

How to Disable and Hide the Mail App on a Mac

If you want to disable and hide Mail on a Mac, you must stop your email account—or accounts—from syncing with the app and remove it from the Dock and Launchpad. If you have a third-party email app for macOS installed, you can also configure your email preferences to set it as the default.

Start by unlinking your online accounts from Mail. To do that:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select System Settings.
  2. Click on Internet Accounts in the sidebar.
  3. Select the email account that syncs to Mail.
  4. Turn off the switch next to Mail.

Unlinking an email account from Mail for Mac.

You can repeat the above for other email accounts that sync with Apple’s Mail app.

Hide Mail App From the Mac Dock

Next, hide the Mail app from the Mac’s Dock; just Control-click the Mail app on the Dock and select Options > Remove from Dock. If Mail automatically shows up at Mac startup, also deactivate the Open at Login option.

Removing the Mail app from the Mac Dock.

Additionally, you might prefer hiding the Mail on the Launchpad. A quick way to do that is to drag and drop the Mail icon into the Applications folder in Finder.

Change Default Email Client on Mac

If there’s an alternative email client on your Mac, you can wrap things up by setting it as the default. The most straightforward way to make the change is through the Mail app’s Settings pane.

  1. Open the Mail app and select Mail > Settings on the menu bar.
  2. Under the default General tab, open the drop-down next to Default email reader.
  3. Select the client app you want to set as the default—for example, Microsoft Outlook.

Chaning the default email client on a Mac..

The new email client should automatically appear when you select an email address or open the macOS Share menu.

How to Permanently Delete the Mail App on Your Mac

We understand that not everyone wants to hide or disable the Mail app. For permanent deletion, you must disable Security Integrity Protection via macOS Recovery, use Terminal to delete the Mail app, and manually delete any leftover Mail-related files and folders through Finder.

Enter macOS Recovery and Disable SIP

macOS Recovery is a special user environment that allows you to manage advanced macOS features. It offers a Terminal console that you can use to disable SIP. To get to it:

  1. Boot your Mac into macOS Recovery. If you use an Intel Mac, just press and hold Cmd + R at computer startup. If you use an Apple Silicon Mac, perform a cold start while holding down the Power key and select Options > Continue on the Startup Options screen.
  2. Enter your Mac administrator password if prompted.
  3. Select Utilities > Terminal from the menu bar.
  4. Type the following command and press Return:
    csrutil disable
  5. Quit the Terminal window.
  6. Reboot your Mac normally—click on the Apple logo and choose Restart.

Disabling SIP on a Mac.

Uninstall the Mail App From Mac

With SIP out of the way, it’s time to remove the Mail app from your Mac. You must fire up Terminal again but in normal desktop mode.

  1. Open Launchpad and select Other > Terminal.
  2. Copy and paste the following command:
    sudo rm -rf /Applications/
  3. Press Return.
  4. Type in your Mac administrator password.
  5. Press Return again.

Uninstalling the Mail app on a Mac.

Check your Mac’s Applications folder; the Mail app should no longer be present.

Delete Mail App’s Leftover Files and Folders

If you want to delete leftover Mail-related files and folders from your Mac, you must manually remove them via Finder. Any locally-stored emails will be lost forever. If there aren’t any copies on an internet server, it’s best to move the leftovers to an external storage device.

To do that, Control-click the Finder icon on the Dock and click on Go > Go to Folder from the menu bar. Then, visit the following directories:

  • ~/Library/Containers
  • ~/Library/Mail
  • ~/Library/Preferences
  • ~/Library/Application Scripts

Deleting leftover items related to Mail for Mac.

Use the search bar at the top-right corner of the Finder window to look for within each directory and drag files or folders that include the name to the Trash. You have 30 days to restore the files if you want them back.

Re-enable SIP on Mac

Security Integrity Protection is essential for the security and stability of macOS and works as a deterrent against malware. After removing the Mail app from your Mac, you must re-enable SIP.

To do that, revisit macOS Recovery, open Terminal, and execute the following command:

csrutil enable

Hide or Delete the Mail App on Your Mac

You’ve got little to gain by uninstalling Mail on a Mac, so it’s much more convenient just to disable and hide the app.

However, if you did end up removing the app but need it back, there’s a way to restore the operating system without losing your data.


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