I'm automating some system installs and I need to install a prefPane.

something like installer -pkg xxx.pkg -target / that I use for installing .pkg files.

1 Answer 1


Simple preference panes can be "installed" by moving them to


and "uninstalled" by removing them from there (just tested it with Secrets).

You can "launch" them using open.

Many preference panes install additional daemons/agents or system components upon launch or user action. You should be able to use AppleScript to perform these UI actions, but they're custom to each preference pane.

  • might be worth to mention the /System/Library/PreferencePanes as well. and, since I've already said that, why not rather than /Users/yourname/ simply using the tilde expansion ~/?
    – cregox
    May 11, 2017 at 8:58
  • One tip if using command line - use cp -r something.prefPane ~/Library/PreferencePanes to install a pref pane for personal use. Don't put a / after the prefPane argument - it is directory but the / makes cp do the wrong thing.
    – RichVel
    Dec 3, 2017 at 10:56

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