How to Stop Mac Apps From Launching at Startup

Are you wondering how to prevent certain apps from launching at startup on your Mac? Look no further!


macos startup login items disable

There might be a multitude of applications operating in the background and initiating upon login on your macOS. Generally, they function efficiently. Nonetheless, an excessive number of these apps can potentially utilize a significant amount of system resources, resulting in a decrease in your Mac’s speed. For this reason, we suggest effectively managing the startup items, and we will guide you through the process in this article.

What Are Startup Items?

Startup items, also known as login items, refer to the services and applications that initiate each time you boot up your Mac. These are applications that intrude into the startup process without giving any prior notice, neglecting to inquire whether you actually require or desire their presence. Consequently, you may find yourself confronted with a multitude of apps launching as soon as you power on your Mac, placing a considerable burden on its processor and memory capabilities, thereby resulting in decreased speed and performance. These items can significantly extend your Mac’s startup time while simultaneously impairing its overall efficiency.

Moreover, on certain occasions, when you uninstall an application or service, it can leave behind a login item with a broken link. These broken login items serve no practical purpose, generate unwanted error messages, and consume your Mac’s resources as they attempt to locate nonexistent applications.

Therefore, let’s delve into the process of taking control over login items and discovering methods to eliminate undesired, dysfunctional, or concealed startup items.

How to Change Startup Programs in System Settings

It is feasible to manually disable startup programs on a Mac. Hence, if you prefer to handle it on your own and have the time, you can follow the steps provided below.

The login items associated with your Mac are displayed in the System Settings. A simple method to manage startup items is through the System Settings interface:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Go to General > Login Items
  3. Select an app and click the “–” sign below. 
macos startup items disable

If you wish to include an item again, simply click on the “+” symbol and select the desired application. Afterward, restart your Mac to observe the modifications.

While browsing this tab, it is advisable to review the applications listed under the “Allow in the Background” section and disable any unnecessary or unwanted processes that may be running in the background and utilizing system resources.

How to Manage Startup Items From the Dock

Another convenient method for managing login items on your Mac involves utilizing the Dock. By accessing the Dock, you have the ability to enable or disable the automatic launch of applications upon Mac login. To eliminate startup programs:

  1. Locate the desired application that you wish to disable.
  2. Right-click it. 
  3. Click Options and deselect Open at Login. 
macos open at login

If you desire to enable an application to start automatically upon system startup, ensure that the “Open at Login” option is chosen.

How to Change Startup Items in Library Folder

Daemons and launch agents represent a different type of startup components. Instead of being standalone applications, they are integral components of other apps, such as the Chrome Updater embedded within the primary Chrome application.

Before deleting any files or folders from the Library or System folders, it is essential to verify and confirm that the items you are about to move to the Trash will not cause any adverse effects on the functioning of macOS. It is advisable to perform a brief online search if needed to ensure the safe removal of the selected items without any detrimental consequences to the system.

To address these agents, we will navigate to their locations using the Finder:

  1. Launch Finder and select “Go” from the top menu bar.
  2. Copy and paste the following path: /Library/StartUpItems.
  3. Press the Return key to proceed.
macos disable startup items login

Here, you can access all the startup files that are initiated when the system starts. If you are confident in your actions, you have the option to remove any login items that you deem unnecessary.

Similarly, you can locate two additional destinations by navigating through Finder > Go menu:



The /Library/LaunchDaemons directory houses a collection of preference files that dictate the behavior of applications launched with the system. If you are certain that you do not require certain files, it is possible to safely delete them.

The /Library/LaunchAgents directory contains preference files responsible for applications that are launched during the login process, rather than during system startup.

macos startup items login

The previously mentioned directories contain files related to applications. However, it’s also worth checking the system directories to determine if any system applications should be running during startup:

/System/Library/LaunchDaemons — It’s important to note that this folder contains not only preference files but also other crucial system components that are recommended to remain untouched.

/System/Library/LaunchAgents — It’s highly likely that you won’t find anything that needs to be removed in this directory either. However, being aware of this location might assist you in identifying files associated with a problematic app that is causing issues during Mac startup. If you’re experiencing problems with an application interfering with the login process, you can attempt to trace it back from this folder.