csrutil - macOS


The csrutil command in macOS, short for “System Integrity Protection Configuration,” is a critical tool designed for managing the System Integrity Protection (SIP) setting on macOS. SIP is a security feature that restricts the actions the root user can perform on protected parts of macOS. csrutil is mainly used by advanced users to enable or disable SIP, and it is most effective for users who need to perform deep system modifications or troubleshoot specific issues constrained by SIP.


The general syntax for the csrutil command is as follows:

csrutil [sub-command] [arguments]

Where [sub-command] is a placeholder for specific functions of the tool, such as enabling or disabling SIP, and [arguments] represents additional options applicable to the sub-command.


Below are the primary options and flags for csrutil:

  • enable: This option turns on System Integrity Protection.
  • disable: This flag turns off System Integrity Protection (must be run from Recovery OS).
  • status: Shows the current status of System Integrity Protection.
  • clear: Resets System Integrity Protection to its default state as determined at boot.
  • netboot: Adds a NetBoot server exception to the SIP configuration.
  • nvr: Adds a non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) reset exception.

Each option modifies the state or behavior of System Integrity Protection in different ways. It is generally advised only to disable SIP temporarily and with caution, as this increases security risks.


  1. Checking SIP Status:

    csrutil status

    This command provides information about whether SIP is currently enabled or disabled.

  2. Disabling SIP:

    csrutil disable

    Run this command from macOS Recovery to disable SIP. This is often required for certain types of system modifications that are not possible with SIP enabled.

  3. Enabling SIP:

    csrutil enable

    After completing necessary modifications, run this command to re-enable SIP and restore protection to system files.

Common Issues

  • Cannot Modify SIP in Regular Mode:
    Users might attempt to disable or enable SIP while booted into regular macOS. This can only be done from Recovery OS. If attempted in regular mode, the operation will fail.

  • Partial SIP Protection:
    Some users report partial protection after adjusting SIP settings, where certain elements seem unprotected despite SIP’s enabled status. Ensuring a reboot after adjustments can resolve many such issues.


csrutil can be used in conjunction with shell scripts to automate tasks that require temporary SIP disablement:

# Example Script to Disable SIP, Perform Tasks, and Re-enable SIP
echo "Starting task that requires SIP disabled..."
reboot recovery
csrutil disable
# Perform the tasks that require SIP to be disabled
echo "Task complete. Re-enabling SIP..."
reboot recovery
csrutil enable
echo "System Integrity Protection is back on."

Note: This example requires manual selection in the boot process to enter Recovery OS.

  • N/A: csrutil is quite unique in its role; no other commands perform similar SIP management functions.

For more detailed information on csrutil and System Integrity Protection, you can consult the official Apple documentation on security and recovery modes.