How to Manage Login Items on Your Mac

Having too many startup items that slow down your Mac? How to stop some apps from running automatically when you turn on the Mac? Or instead, how to add startup apps and launch daemons? Here in this post we will show you the little, handy tricks.

First of all, login items can be added and removed from the list in the System Preferences > Users & Groups. And the list differ for each user account on a Mac. Every time you start your Mac, the services and apps in the login list will launch concurrently with the system. Here are how to manage login items in this list:

  • Open up System Preferences from the Apple menu on the upper left corner of screen
  • Choose Users & Groups to open up the pane, and click your user name on the left
  • Click the Login Items tab on the right to display the list of login items

To remove a startup app, tick the check-box for the app, and click the minus icon below. To add a startup app, click the plus icon, and choose the app you want to add. You can even add files or folders in this list to make them open up automatically.

If the Lock icon in the bottom left is locked, you are supposed to click the icon and enter your account password subsequently before making any change on the login list.

After finishing the configuration of login items, reboot your Mac to see the changes.

Users try to adjust the apps and services which run automatically for various reasons. Some ill-behaved apps may sneak into the login list and thus run silently in the background without arousing your notice. The more login items you have, the slower your Mac gets ready for you to use. Additionally, some apps have already been uninstalled but the login item remains in the place. Those broken login items will still search for the missing apps, and therefore may eat up your system resources.

To take control of the hidden login items or broken daemons that do not show up in the login list, you will need to go through three hidden system directories:

/Library/StartUpItems
/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Those folders contain app-related files. You can access to them by these steps:

  • Open up a Finder window, and choose Go > Go to Folder from the menu bar
  • Copy and paste the path into the box that appears, and click Go button to open it up

After that, you can delete (with caution) the unnecessary login items, launching daemons or preference files if you are sure don’t want to keep them on your Mac.

To sum up, it helps speed up your Mac and improve performance if you take good control of the login items by removing unnecessary ones and adding necessary ones.

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