What is SIP – System Integrity Protection in macOS

macOS Big Sur ships with a new security process referred to as SIP or System Integrity Protection also known as rootless it has been part of the macOS since OSX 10.11 El Capitan.

This guide goes through disabling and enabling SIP and seeing that status of SIP at anytime.

What SIP essentially does is protect certain system level directories from being changed, notably

  • /System
  • /sbin
  • /usr

(but not /usr/local).

The setting can be altered by users wishing to add, edit or delete certain files in these folders.

Disabling SIP in macOS

Reboot your Mac into Recovery Mode by rebooting and holding down ‘command’ + ‘r’.

Launch a Terminal session and enter

csrutil disable



Re-enabling SIP in macOS

Boot into Recovery Mode again and this time

csrutil enable



You can see the status of SIP or rootless at any time not in Recovery Mode by just a command in the Terminal

csrutil status