What are kext files in macOS?

Kext files are basically the drivers for macOS. The word “Kext” is short for Kernel Extension. Kexts are an extension of the macOS kernel. When you boot up your machine the code contained in these  kexts is atomically injected into the operating system. It’s like having drivers contained in a single file without having to install them like on Windows. When you want to uninstall a kext all you have to do is remove it.

Modify existing kexts or adding new ones will allow any hackintosher to get support for non native hardware like sound, ethernet and dedicated graphic cards.

  • The majority of kext files are located  in /System/Library/Extensions by default if you are modifying a kext this is where you would access them
  • If using  Clover Bootloader I like to place my kexts in /EFI/CLOVER/kexts/Other of my mounted EFI partition.
  • Multibeast places its kexts in /Library/Extensions.

You may need to sometimes update your kext files  when new versions of macOS come out. I created a page to the latest versions of the kexts I use for my hackintosh as a convince for myself and anyone else that wants to bookmark the page:

Hackintosh Download Kexts

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "What are kext files in macOS?"

Sort by:   newest | oldest

Best quick guide I’ve seen on the web! And your “hackintosh Download Kexts” page is awesome and explains exactly what you need! Thanks dude!


Hello I have some kext in /EFI/CLOVER/OTHER and others in /LIBRARY/Extensions.

Most are duplicates, can I remove them? if so, must I remove them from EFI or from Library?

Thank you

Pär Nordqvist
Pär Nordqvist

I have an 2 TB SSD in my Mac Pro Quadcore mid 2012, and it is installed on a pci-e card above the videocard. But the computer thinks it is an external drive and it is orange instead of grey as the usual hard drive. How do I fix this?