Mac Startup Programs

How to stop apps from opening on startup

Every time you switch on or restart your Mac, some programs start running automatically after the operating system loads. Having a lot of startup programs can significantly decrease your Mac performance. If you want to learn how to easily stop applications from opening on Mac startup, this article is for you. We will explain the easy ways to change startup programs on Mac and even how to remove startup programs completely.


1. How to stop applications from opening on Mac startup
2. How to enable new startup programs on Mac
3. An easy Mac tool to change startup programs

How to stop applications from opening on Mac startup

Before we start, let’s figure out the types of items that run automatically when you start your Mac.

Types of startup programs:

  1. Applications login items are small modules inside programs that enable the automatic auto-launch of the programs on user login. These modules can’t be deleted, you can only disable them. This can usually be done in the program’s Preferences.
  2. User login items are another type of module that helps to automatically run apps on Mac startup or user login. User login items can be changed in System Preferences of macOS. You can disable or enable any app to automatically run when you log in.
  3. Launch agents are special text files of programs that help to automatically run the external program’s processes on user login. Such processes work in the background and their files are usually saved in system hidden folders. Launch agents are the files that can be used by several applications, for example, different apps of Adobe Creative Cloud can use common launch agents.
  4. Launch daemons are another type of hidden files, that contain scripts to automatically manage system service processes. Launch agents are loaded on system startup and they run processes for all the users on Mac.

As we explained above, there are different types of startup programs on Mac and they are used for different programs’ tasks. In the macOS you can manually change only the user login items.

Applications login items, launch agents and system daemons in each application can be disabled in their own way. The apps may provide settings in Preferences to turn off such startup programs and they may hide such an option. In this case, you can disable them only via the Terminal app (command line) or with the help of a special tool – App Cleaner & Uninstaller. Read on to learn how to change different types of startup programs.

Here is how to disable startup items on Mac (user login items):

      1. Go to System PreferencesUsers & Groups.
      2. Switch to the Login Items tab.mac startup programs
      3. Click the Lock icon in the bottom left corner to change startup programs. It will require your password to allow to stop programs from running at startup mac
      4. Tick the box by the application name to enable or disable it from the automatic login items.

How to enable new user login items on Mac

Follow these steps to enable new Mac startup items:

  1. While staying in the Login Items tab in Preferences, click the Plus button.
  2. Select the app and then click Add.

how to make programs open on startup

How to enable Mac startup items from Dock panel

One more way to add Mac startup items is using the Dock panel. If your app has an icon in the Dock panel, simply right-click on it and from the pop-up window select OptionsOpen at Login.

change startup programs mac
We explained how to manage login items of apps and stop them from auto-launch, but what about other types of startup programs? How to disable launch agents and launch daemons? Read on to learn how.

An easy tool to change startup programs

If you have problems with startup items and the apps run automatically despite not being checked, then try a free App Cleaner & Uninstaller software, which allows to manage files’ extensions.

    1. Download App Cleaner & Uninstaller and open it.
    2. Go to the Extensions tab.
    3. Select from the Launch Agents and Login Items categories unneeded apps and switch their toggle buttons.

disable startup programs mac

With the application, you can even remove login items. But please, if you have decided to remove a login file, first make sure, that you will not need it anymore.

  1. Tick the checkbox near the Launch Agent file.
  2. Click the Remove button.

remove startup programs mac

Please, if you have decided to remove a login file, first make sure that you will not need it anymore. Removal of some extensions may damage your system.

With App Cleaner & Uninstaller you can also remove service files, uninstall apps completely and manage extensions. With this app, It is so easy to stop programs from running at Mac startup.

Quick Video Guide


Now you know how to take control of startup and login items. Use the manual way or try a special tool App Cleaner & Uninstaller for this. It is up to you. Just stop them to make your Mac run faster.

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