How To Add Or Change Startup Apps On macOS



On a Mac, programs usually launch quickly and conveniently, but when you have many of them, this could affect the system’s performance. It is recommended to monitor the startup of macOS and remove any unnecessary applications promptly. This article will show you how to add and change programs that start when you turn on your Mac.

What Is The Definition of a Startup App?

mac OS startup apps, as the name implies, are applications and other services that launch automatically as soon as macOS starts. Overall, this is a positive thing. Antivirus software should run continuously for maximum security, and you shouldn’t have to start it every time your Mac boots up. 

The issue is that your Mac needs to load each of these applications before it can attempt to launch the system. After that, they will keep running unless you turn them off. It is easy to imagine how employing too many startup items could cause your Mac to run slowly. Luckily, disabling auto-starting Mac programs is relatively easy.

How To Manage Mac Startup Apps

Automatically launching applications on a Mac is also known as login items for Apple users. In other words, this is a specific command for the system to open certain applications when rebooting or turning on the computer. Very often, when installing software, the automatic launch is an option. Without hesitation, we agree, after which we simply forget about it. As a result, programs that are not needed right away are launched, stopping those that are needed. Also, if a large number of applications are open at the same time, performance may decrease. Luckily, configuring these settings is very easy:

  1. Select “System Settings.” 
  2. Locate the “Users and Groups” icon and click it. 
  3. A system administrator should be chosen (or another user if there are several). 
  4. Put your password in the lock symbol after clicking it. 
  5. Choose the “Login Items” tab from the window’s top menu. 
  6. A list of automatically starting programs appears. 
  7. Choose the one you want to omit by clicking the “-” button at the bottom. 
  8. Click the addition symbol “+” to add an app if necessary. 
  9. The “Hide” checkbox next to a program’s name must be selected for the application to launch while being minimized in the Dock panel. 
  10. Lock it up and leave the settings.

This enables the swift and comprehensive arrangement of all the Mac login items. Only specified apps will run automatically when the machine is powered on or restarted.

How To Hide Startup Items

Each item in the list of Login Items has a checkbox labeled Hide next to it. The software starts whenever the Hide option is selected, but no windows are visible. Hiding an app can be useful when it has to run, but you do not need to see its window. For example, if you want the Activity Monitor software to start without the window opening. The app’s Dock icon alerts you when CPU loads get too high. Open a window at any time by selecting the app’s Dock icon.

What Startup Programs Do You Have On Your Mac?

To find out which programs are configured to execute upon startup, check your Mac’s program files. Additionally, you can immediately add or remove these elements. 

Here’s how to look through your macOS Dock’s startup applications:

  1. Choose Options from the pop-up menu when you right-click an app or program on the Dock. 
  2. Choose “Open at Login” or deselect it. Using the Dock, you can add or delete each startup program located there one at a time.

What Programs Should You Remove From a Startup?

Which apps you can disable at startup depends on your needs. You may be surprised by a few startup apps on your list. Games, unrelated apps, and sometimes even Mac apps can end up in your start list when you install them without your knowledge. But do you really need to be greeted by the Messages app, the world news app, and the gaming app every time you sign in? So these apps can be easily removed from the login items. 

Remember that too many login items can influence your computer’s booting and operation time. So try to create a list of essential startup items as a part of regular Mac maintenance and remove the secondary apps like games or music apps. 

If you doubt what apps to remove from the login items, please, follow this checklist:

  • Remove apps you didn’t add to the startup list. Some apps get to the list of login items automatically after downloading, so keep your list of essential apps consistent. 
  • Remove suspicious apps you don’t remember installing on your Mac. Sometimes, while downloading one app, you may get an extra one from the same developer. Or you may face a cyber attack when apps are downloaded from suspicious websites by themselves. So be careful, get antivirus, and forbid downloading apps from third-party resources in advance.
  • Remove rarely used apps that you don’t need to start automatically. Just like iTunesHelper, Microsoft Word, if you’re working in Google Docs, etc. 

With startup apps excluded, your Mac will run faster and have more storage space. However, the launch link to the application may sometimes be broken after a piece of software or application is uninstalled. These URLs make no sense and drain your Mac’s resources by looking at these apps. 

Learn More About Startup Items On Mac

Early versions of macOS stored startup programs in the /System/Library/StartupItems and Library/StartupItems folders. Although this is an outdated mechanism today, some older software may add itself to these folders.

In addition, there are folders in macOS from which running background services launch. While it is better not to touch the components from the System folder, Mac system services also start from here:

– /System/Library/LaunchDaemons and /System/Library/LaunchAgents

– /Library/LaunchDaemons and /Library/LaunchAgents

– /Users (Users)/Username/Library/LaunchAgents

So you can check these folders to find out what starts automatically once you boot your Mac.

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