Complete Guide on How to Delete Mail App on Mac

Jerome Mills
Last updated: Mar 25, 2024

In this blog post, you will learn how to delete the Mail app from your Mac or MacBook, step by step.

When you are running out of Mac storage, you might consider deleting some pre-installed apps from the system, say, Mail. Deleting the Mail app from your Mac seems like a straightforward task, but it's a bit more complex than you might expect. Since Mail is a built-in app that comes integrated with the macOS, it’s just not designed to be deleted randomly. So, how to delete the Mail app on Mac?

This guide will walk you through the process, step by step, ensuring that you understand not only how to remove the app but also the hidden leftovers.

How to Delete Mail App on Mac, and Its Leftovers

Can You Delete Mail on Mac?

Theoretically speaking, yes, you can delete the Mail app on a Mac, but it’s risky and takes great effort. macOS has built-in protections for system apps to prevent accidental deletion, as these apps are integral to the operating system's functionality. That’s to say, Mail is protected, and you have to disable the System Integrity Protection (SIP) to uninstall it from Mac.

However, this approach is super complex and generally not advisable. Why? Turning off SIP poses an increased vulnerability to malware and viruses in your system. Also, once you regret deleting Mail on Mac, you’ll have to factory reset your macOS system to reinstall it.

With all being said, if you are still determined to delete the Mail app on Mac, read on to know how.

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How to Remove Mail App from Mac [4-Step Guide]

Removing the Mail app from a Mac involves a series of steps, starting with the temporary disabling of SIP via macOS Recovery. Below is a comprehensive guide to safely disable SIP, remove the Mail application via Terminal, get rid of Mail leftovers, and then re-enable SIP to ensure your Mac's security is restored.

Step 1: Disabling System Integrity Protection

Based on the chip of your current Mac device, whether it’s Intel or Apple Silicon chip, the steps to enter macOS Recovery mode can vary.

  • For Intel-based Macs:

    1. Turn off your Mac.
    2. Press the power button, then immediately hold down Command-R until the Apple logo appears.
    3. Release Command-R once the macOS Utilities window is displayed.
  • For Macs with Apple Silicon Chips:

    1. Shut down your Mac.
    2. Press and hold the power button until the startup options window appears.
    3. Select "Options", then click "Continue".
    4. When prompted, enter your admin password and click "Continue".

Once you are in the recovery mode, you can disable SIP by the following:

  1. Navigate to Launchpad > Other > Terminal and run it.
  2. Enter the command below and press Return: csrutil disable
    Disable SIP on Mac
  3. Restart your Mac.

Step 2: Removing the Mail App

With SIP now disabled, you have the chance to permanently delete the Mail app using Terminal commands.

  1. Navigate to Applications > Utilities and launch Terminal.
  2. Navigate to the System Applications Directory by entering the command: /System/Applications/ and hit Return.
  3. Execute the command to delete Mail from your system: sudo rm -rf Mail.app/.
  4. Confirm the action by typing your password when prompted.

It’s not over yet. After permanently uninstalling the Mail app from Mac, you can keep on hunting its leftovers down and delete them manually for a more optimized Mac storage. Here’s how to get rid of Mail files and folders via Finder:

  1. Right-click the Finder icon in the Dock. From the drop-down menu, choose the "Go to Folder" option.

  2. Search each directory below, as they are all mail-related folders and files:

    • ~/Library/Containers
    • ~/Library/Mail
    • ~/Library/Preferences
    • ~/Library/Application Scripts
Delete Mail Leftovers with Finder
  1. Use the search box in Finder, and type in com.apple.mail to precisely locate these files. Once selected, drag any related files/folders to the Trash.

Step 4: Re-enabling System Integrity Protection (SIP)

After successfully removing the Mail app and its related data, it's crucial to re-enable SIP to protect your system's integrity.

  1. Follow the previous steps to enter Recovery Mode for either Intel-based or Apple Silicon Macs.
  2. Once in Recovery Mode, open Terminal from the Utilities menu as well.
  3. Type the command csrutil enable and press Return.
  4. Restart your Mac to complete the process.

By carefully following these steps, you can remove the Mail application from your Mac for real. However, as this method is both risky and complicated, we have a better way to deal with the Mail app on Mac, that is to disable and hide it. By doing so, the Mail app only takes up about 50 MB of space.

How to Disable & Hide Mail to Save Storage on Mac

Disabling and hiding the Mail app on a Mac involves stopping your email accounts from syncing with the application, removing it from both the Dock and Launchpad, and, cleaning up previous files from Mail.

Step 1. Disconnecting Email Accounts with the Mail App

Open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences. In the sidebar, click on Internet Accounts and choose the email account connected to Mail.

  1. Disconnect Email Accounts with the Mail App.
  2. Disable the Mail option by turning off the adjacent switch.
    Disconnect Email Accounts with the Mail App
  3. Repeat these steps for any additional email accounts linked to the Mail app.

Step 2. Hiding the Mail App from the Mac Dock/Launchpad

  1. Right-click the Mail icon on the Dock, navigate to Options, and untick the option "Keep in Dock".
    How to Hide the Mail App on Mac
  2. For those looking to hide the Mail app from the Launchpad as well, simply drag the Mail icon to the Other folder for a more out-of-sight solution.

If you have another email client installed on your Mac, you can further finalize the process by making it your default email application.

Bonus: Effortlessly Optimize Mac Storage with BuhoCleaner

If you delete native macOS apps just to gain more free storage, there's a much more straightforward and safer alternative. Without going through complex procedures or risking your system's integrity, BuhoCleaner is a powerful tool designed specifically for Mac users looking to clean up their system efficiently. It offers various approaches to optimize Mac storage:

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  • Remove Unused Applications: There are apps that you haven't used in a while, and they deserve a declutter. By uninstalling any unwanted third-party apps as well as their leftovers, BuhoCleaner ensures that your Mac isn't bogged down by unnecessary applications.

  • Optimize Storage with One Click: With its Flash Clean feature, BuhoCleaner makes it super easy to free up your Mac disk, including system cache, temporary files, etc., ideal for users who want to maintain their Mac's performance without investing a lot of time.

  • Clear Junk Files Effortlessly: Over time, your Mac accumulates a variety of junk files, including cache files, logs, and remnants of deleted apps. BuhoCleaner can swiftly detect and remove these files, ensuring that your storage is used efficiently.

By incorporating BuhoCleaner into your Mac maintenance routine, you can avoid the risks associated with disabling SIP and manually deleting system apps. Instead, focus on a safer, more efficient way to manage your Mac's storage and keep your system running at its best.

Conclusion

While deleting the Mail app from your Mac is possible, it's a process that comes with certain risks and considerations. By following this guide, you'll be equipped to make an informed decision and carry out the process safely. Alternatively, you can choose to disable and hide the Mail app on Mac to save storage. Regardless of the way you choose, BuhoCleaner is an excellent choice to optimize your Mac storage.

Jerome Mills

I am Jerome Mills, a passionate enthusiast of all things Apple. I'm expertise in crafting tech-related articles, with a portfolio of more than 100 articles covering various Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.