There’s somebody in your life who just can’t help but fiddle around with their Mac’s settings. Maybe that person is you. It’s okay to admit it. That printer that wouldn’t work quite right, so you just deleted it but now you can’t get it back. You changed your alert sound to that annoying Sosumi tone and can’t remember which one you had before. You deleted your Bluetooth headphones and lost the owner’s manual and now you might as well buy a new set because that’s easier than getting them to pair again. We’ve all been there. Why not just hide System Preferences?
Start off by opening System Preferences. You’ll find it a couple of places, but the one sure bet is in the Apple menu at the top left corner of your display.
With that open, go again to the menu bar and select View>Customize.
Now you should see checkboxes next to each pane in the System Preferences window.
Start unticking boxes, and stop only when you’ve hit every category you want to hide. Then, click Done at the top. You can hide every single pane, and the result looks something like this:
To undo these changes, simply navigate back to Customize under the View dropdown menu, and check the boxes again. Unfortunately, this does not prevent these same System Preferences options from appearing in a Spotlight search (although you can do that, too. More on that another time.), but you don’t have to share that knowledge with anyone who might know just enough to be dangerous.