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#53362 - 01/30/20 02:35 AM Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I update to 10.15.3, and as opposed to what joemike reported in another thread, macOS did NOT allow me to delete anything from /Apps, even as root user, so I've reverted.

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#53363 - 01/30/20 03:00 AM Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
As an experiment, I deleted an app from /Applications and had no issue. Do you have TechTool Pro? The Tools tab has an option to reset home permissions. That might work for you.

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#53365 - 01/30/20 06:36 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: jchuzi]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I have verified the ability to delete apps in 10.15.3 whether it is the release version or a beta. It would appear something is amiss in your system.
  • Have you tried deleting an app while logged into a clean test account that has administrative privileges?
  • What are the access settings of the app?
  • Who is the owner of the app?
  • Is this a system app ie. does it come " on the box" with MacOS?


Edited by joemikeb (01/30/20 09:18 AM)
Edit Reason: add question
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#53366 - 01/30/20 08:31 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Just to be certain that we're all on the same page, I'm talking about deleting apps that are included in the macOS installer, NOT 3rd party apps or App Store purchases.

I've tried deleting them while logged in as root user, but with no joy: all return a "read only" error.
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#53367 - 01/30/20 10:08 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
I'm talking about deleting apps that are included in the macOS installer, NOT 3rd party apps or App Store purchases.

That would explain it then. Those apps are owned by System and even administrative privileges are insufficient to delete or modify them. You are might be able to delete them, if you activate the Root user and log on as Root. (You will find instructions in this Apple Support article.) Seventeen or eighteen years ago that was a fairly common practice, but I haven't tried it in at least fifteen years and the latest Apple support article is from 2017 so it may or may not still be possible in MACOS 10.15.3.

WARNING: Because Apple reuses application functions throughout the OS and other Apple and third party apps, deleting those apps may render certain functionalities or even the entire OS inoperable and the only recovery is reinstalling.

CAUTION: Back in the day when logging on as Root was practiced more often, common wisdom held that you...
  • ...logged in as Root only to accomplish a specific task.
  • ...deleted the Root user account immediately after completing the specific task.
  • ...never, ever, ran normally while logged in as Root.
COMMENT: It is a safe bet that any changes in deleting apps between 10.15.2 and 10.15.3 are the result of increased security protections.
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#53368 - 02/02/20 08:29 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
I'm talking about deleting apps that are included in the macOS installer, NOT 3rd party apps or App Store purchases.

That would explain it then. Those apps are owned by System and even administrative privileges are insufficient to delete or modify them. You are might be able to delete them, if you activate the Root user and log on as Root.

@#$%! I was afraid it would turn out to be pie in the sky. frown mad

Logging in as root user had already failed to accomplish my goal when I posted. (I always keep root user enabled to save the trouble in the event that I need it, but since it doesn't seem like it's got much purpose any more, it may be time to disable it.)

I don't like Apple's having locked down the file system, but I get it. I don't understand, though, why they've locked down /Apps. I've been running with 19 of the 36 apps included Mojave and Catalina, or the equivalent thereof, having been trashed for years, with NEVER a problem.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
It is a safe bet that any changes in deleting apps between 10.15.2 and 10.15.3 are the result of increased security protections.

There have been no changes of which I"m aware.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53369 - 02/02/20 01:37 PM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
I don't like Apple's having locked down the file system, but I get it. I don't understand, though, why they've locked down /Apps. I've been running with 19 of the 36 apps included Mojave and Catalina, or the equivalent thereof, having been trashed for years, with NEVER a problem.

Admittedly I had not attempted deleting "in the box" apps in Catalina but I had done so in previous versions of MacOS without difficulty as apparently you had. So when I tried to delete Mail.app (which I do not use) I got
Originally Posted By: Catalina
“Mail” can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by macOS.

...but there is no problem deleting other apps. Being of a curious nature I was interested to see what unique protections Apple had put on the "in the box" apps so I did a Get Info and discovered, to my surprise that "Mail" that appears in the /Applications folder is NOT in the /Applications folder but in /System/Applications along with all the "in the box" applications and utilities while third party apps are in /Applications.

So Apple hasn't locked down the /Applications folder rather the /System/Applications folder and all the "in the box" apps are there as well. I have no idea what the icon that appears in the /Applications folder is it does not appear to be an alias, but it may be a Unix hard link.

Originally Posted By: artie505
There have been no changes of which I"m aware.

I was not aware of this change either. While I am not yet able to verify this, I believe the /System folder or at least much of its content is not even on the same APFS volume as the /Applications, /Library, and /Users folders. So there significant changes in Catalina that I was either unaware of or at least I did/do not fully comprehend all of the implications and/or implementation.

By the way, If I attempt to drag an app from /System/Applications to the trash all I get is a slashed circle and nothing happens. Not even a warning message.
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#53370 - 02/02/20 03:14 PM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: joemikeb]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Here's an interesting aside: I downloaded and installed the free version of Luminar 3. When I went to install it, the default path was shown as /System/Applications. I changed that to /Applications; I had not even known that /System had an Applications folder!

I don't know what would have happened if I had used the default, but I don't want to allow a third-party app to be in /System, nor modify /System in any way.
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macOS 10.15.5, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#53372 - 02/03/20 03:03 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Admittedly I had not attempted deleting "in the box" apps in Catalina but I had done so in previous versions of MacOS without difficulty as apparently you had. So when I tried to delete Mail.app (which I do not use) I got
Originally Posted By: Catalina
“Mail” can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by macOS.

I remember seeing that pop-up somewhere along the line, but I"ve got no idea what elicited it. What did you do?

If you try to either rm or sudo rm an Apple app, Terminal returns a laundry list of every one of its individual components appended with "Read-only file system." (When you try to rm 19 apps at once, Terminal's output is about a mile long.)

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
...but there is no problem deleting other apps. Being of a curious nature I was interested to see what unique protections Apple had put on the "in the box" apps so I did a Get Info and discovered, to my surprise that "Mail" that appears in the /Applications folder is NOT in the /Applications folder but in /System/Applications along with all the "in the box" applications and utilities while third party apps are in /Applications.

So Apple hasn't locked down the /Applications folder rather the /System/Applications folder and all the "in the box" apps are there as well. I have no idea what the icon that appears in the /Applications folder is it does not appear to be an alias, but it may be a Unix hard link.

<snip> While I am not yet able to verify this, I believe the /System folder or at least much of its content is not even on the same APFS volume as the /Applications, /Library, and /Users folders. So there significant changes in Catalina that I was either unaware of or at least I did/do not fully comprehend all of the implications and/or implementation. (Emphasis added)

I addressed the new /Apps & /System/Apps format with this screenshot, which I originally posted in my Activity Monitor thread as part of a similar discussion.

The part I highlighted in red is on the mark. You can verify it by looking at the results of cloning a bootable volume to another volume in the same container (with SIP enabled). And if you're really into digging, take a look at the difference between CCC's and SuperDuper!'s results of the same clone.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
By the way, If I attempt to drag an app from /System/Applications to the trash all I get is a slashed circle and nothing happens. Not even a warning message.

Yup, and if you try to command-delete it you get ABSOLUTELY NO response.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53373 - 02/03/20 03:49 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
/Apps is a hodgepodge that saw its shadow yesterday morning, thus foretelling a looong winter in Apple-land. frown
  • The Apps folder looks like /Applications
  • Apple apps look like /System/Applications/Preview.app
  • 3rd party apps look like /Applications/Microsoft Excel.app
  • The Utilities folder looks like /Applications/Utilities
  • Apple utilities look like /System/Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor.app
  • 3rd party utilities look like /Applications/Utilities/NoSleepHelper.app
Got it? tongue

I"m surprised by your Luminar 3 d/l; its dev apparently didn't fully digest what Apple hath wrought. I wonder if your ability to trash it would have been compromised had you left its path intact?
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In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53374 - 02/03/20 07:52 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
/I"m surprised by your Luminar 3 d/l; its dev apparently didn't fully digest what Apple hath wrought. I wonder if your ability to trash it would have been compromised had you left its path intact?

I would be even more curious to see if the installer could write to /System/Applications. Supposedly that is on a READ-ONLY volume. Much of my confusion is a result of APFS volumes and volume groups, how they are identified/addressed, and items such as the "in the box" app icons found in /Applications that disguise virtual locations.

I can see a sound rationale for all of this, but for those of us that are long accustomed to thinking in HFS+ terms, which are more closely tied to the actual physical storage media, it can be disconcerting. It isn't a learning curve it is a re-learning curve and it is an axiom in training that re-learning[/I] takes seven times longer and seven time more effort than learning.
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#53375 - 02/03/20 10:05 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: artie505
/Apps is a hodgepodge that saw its shadow yesterday morning, thus foretelling a looong winter in Apple-land. frown
  • The Apps folder looks like /Applications
  • Apple apps look like /System/Applications/Preview.app
  • 3rd party apps look like /Applications/Microsoft Excel.app
  • The Utilities folder looks like /Applications/Utilities
  • Apple utilities look like /System/Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor.app
  • 3rd party utilities look like /Applications/Utilities/NoSleepHelper.app
Got it? tongue

I"m surprised by your Luminar 3 d/l; its dev apparently didn't fully digest what Apple hath wrought. I wonder if your ability to trash it would have been compromised had you left its path intact?


Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I would be even more curious to see if the installer could write to /System/Applications. Supposedly that is on a READ-ONLY volume. Much of my confusion is a result of APFS volumes and volume groups, how they are identified/addressed, and items such as the "in the box" app icons found in /Applications that disguise virtual locations.


Unless I missed it in the lengthy posts above, it was my understanding that the two Applications folders are the option to have an application available to all users—/System/Applications—or just available to a specific user—/Applications.

This arrangement would avoid the need to install an application multiple times, once for each user.
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Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#53376 - 02/03/20 10:26 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
The new, two-rolled-into-one /Apps folder is the equivalent of the old /Apps folder in that everything in it is available to all users, but the Apple apps are protected, while the 3rd party apps are writeable, i.e. can be trashed.

User by user apps are, as always, stored in ~. If you create a new folder in that location and name it "Applications," it takes on the /Apps icon rather than a generic one.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53377 - 02/03/20 11:40 PM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
/I"m surprised by your Luminar 3 d/l; its dev apparently didn't fully digest what Apple hath wrought. I wonder if your ability to trash it would have been compromised had you left its path intact?

I would be even more curious to see if the installer could write to /System/Applications. Supposedly that is on a READ-ONLY volume.

Good point; I should have thought of it myself. In theory, macOS shouldn't allow it, and indeed, it doesn't.

The developer's lack of understanding of the new format is evident in both the setting of the incorrect path and the suggestion that the prohibition can be overridden by an admin.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53380 - 02/04/20 01:21 PM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
From other developer's sites I have learned there were some security related changes made in Catalina that were not in either the developer's or public beta versions. This has left a few developers scrambling to com up with workarounds. Apple is cooperating with those developers to develop solutions, but apparently the deeper an app works in the system the more difficult it is to work around Catalina's blocks. The ones I have encountered are not stoppers, but more in the line of aggravations.
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#53381 - 02/04/20 02:24 PM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I don't know the reasons, but I"ve found that DaisyDisk, GrandPerspective, and Find Any File aren't up to dealing with Catalina's two volume configuration, DaisyDisk, which can't even deal with my boot volume being the worst of the three; the other two run into issues with my clones.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53382 - 02/05/20 04:48 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Hah! On a lark, I tried to trash the unwanted apps in a volume into which I wasn't booted, and I was successful with only verification required.

Mission accomplished, and I wasn't even asked to verify. (I"ll now have to boot into another volume to trash any updates to the trashed apps included in forthcoming macOS updates.)

Shades of OS 9! smile laugh

More: And in a slightly different vein, this time around, macOS has allowed me get rid of my Spotlight icon. smile
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53384 - 02/06/20 09:16 AM Re: Unable to delete apps in 10.15.3 [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: artie505
Shades of OS 9! smile laugh

Bring it back! Bring it back!

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