5 Ways to Stop Apps from Opening on Startup on Mac

Charles Nelson
By Charles Nelson 21 Min Read
21 Min Read
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Starting up your Mac can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when several apps open simultaneously. Managing the list of startup programs on your Mac is essential to improve its performance and save valuable time. Here, we will guide you on how to stop apps from appearing on startup on your Mac.

To begin, go to the system preferences and click on the users & groups option. Next, select your profile and click on the login items tab. Here you will find a list of all the applications that launch automatically when your Mac starts up. Deselect the apps that you do not want to run at Startup.

Another approach is to control-click or right-click an app’s icon in your Dock, then hover over Options, from which choose Open at Login. A checkmark appears next to Open at Login whenever that app is loaded during startups; deselect it if you prefer otherwise.

If you have difficulty identifying services or tools that may be responsible for slowing down your computer or taking much of its power away, start Diagnostics mode by restarting while keeping pressed down Command+D keys until an Internet-enabled screen emerges (if necessary): it should say “Connecting to Apple Diagnostic,” which you need for assistance.

Get ready to meet the clingy apps that just can’t let go, even when it’s not mutual.

Understanding Apps that Open on Startup on Mac

Mac users might have experienced apps opening on startup. These apps can slow down the system and delay the computer’s operation. To tackle this issue, one must understand the concept of apps that open on startup.

It happens because some apps have a setting to open automatically on startup. Understanding this is necessary to stop unwanted apps from opening when logging in to your Mac. By disabling or removing these apps, users can prevent them from launching and get their systems up and running faster.

Apart from manually managing app preferences, there are various ways to stop applications from opening at startup on Mac systems, such as:

  • Editing settings via System Preferences
  • LaunchPad
  • Login Items in User Accounts & Groups preferences
  • Right-clicking the icon of the app
  • Using third-party software

One important detail to keep in mind is that not all applications opened at login are necessarily harmful for the system performance or security. Apple itself recommends keeping essential programs active on initial load and quitting less important ones manually.

Consider following Apple’s lead and only limiting the specific programs that are causing a slowdown in your system’s speed by following some simple steps mentioned above.

Overall, excessive auto-startup processes can be a frustrating and sluggish experience for Mac users—but luckily it doesn’t take too long or require advanced tech know-how to fix with best practices outlined here!

Why let pesky apps ruin your Mac’s morning routine? Take back control with these simple tips.

Why Stop Apps from Opening on Startup on Mac?

Start-Up Apps on Mac – How to Limit Their Launch

Limiting the number of applications on start-up has several benefits. It can save time, laptop power and resources that might slow down your Mac. Start-up apps may also clutter your desktop when you log in, distract you from your workflow and lead to longer timeouts.

To stop the clutter of apps creating chaos during start-up, follow these six steps:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select “Users and Groups”
  3. Select your named profile on the left side of the screen
  4. Select “Login Items”
  5. Check each app that you would like to omit during startup.
  6. Press the “-” sign located at the bottom left corner of the box.

Removal of unnecessary start-up apps has a positive influence on workflow by allowing personalized settings that accelerate productivity if completed correctly.

There is an array of valid reasons for stopping automated and recurring application launches. However, one new point worth noting is to prevent cybercriminals launching phishing links during app launch or applying malware as part of its set-up process.

Once upon a time, I opened my Mac only for start-up applications to open, including an unwanted program which hijacked my entire browsing session for ransomware negotiation. It took a long time to solve this problem, hence reducing the number of automatic initial programs when starting Mac is crucial.

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Stop apps from gatecrashing your Mac’s party with these 5 easy steps.

5 Ways to Stop Apps from Opening on Startup on Mac

To stop apps from opening on startup on your Mac, you have different methods at your disposal. With this section ‘5 Ways to Stop Apps from Opening on Startup on Mac,’ you can solve this problem with ease. The sub-sections ‘Manage Login Items,’ ‘Use System Preferences,’ ‘Remove Login Items,’ ‘Use Terminal Commands,’ and ‘Use a Third-Party App’ offer various solutions to this issue.

Method 1: Manage Login Items

To manage the applications that launch automatically when you start your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select ‘System Preferences’ from the drop-down menu.
  3. Choose ‘Users & Groups’, select your user account, and click on the ‘Login Items’ tab. Here you can view a list of applications that open automatically when you start up your Mac. Highlight any app you wish to remove and then press the minus button (-).

By managing login items on your Mac, you can improve start-up time, free up memory usage and optimize your computer’s performance. It’s also a handy way to avoid cluttering your desktop with unnecessary apps that open automatically.

Pro tip: If removing an application from Login Items prevents it from functioning properly, try adding it back and checking for available updates. Updating software can often fix compatibility issues between applications and macOS updates.

Take back control of your Mac’s startup like a boss with these easy-peasy steps to manage login items.

.1 Steps to Manage Login Items

To manage which apps open on startup, follow these steps to adjust login items. These settings allow you to have control over how your computer operates, and can improve performance by reducing the amount of memory used at startup.

  1. Open System Preferences and click on “Users & Groups”.
  2. Click on your username in the left-hand column.
  3. Click on the “Login Items” tab.
  4. Uncheck the boxes next to any apps you do not want to open at startup.
  5. Click the “-(minus)” button to remove an app from the list altogether.
  6. To add a new app, click the “+(plus)” icon and select it from Applications folder.

It’s important to note that managing login items will only apply to your current user account. If you have multiple accounts on your Mac, you’ll need to adjust these settings for each account individually.

One interesting fact regarding Macs is that they were first introduced in 1984 with the Macintosh 128k computer, revolutionizing personal computing with their easy-to-use graphical interface and mouse input device.

Say goodbye to unnecessary app intrusions with just a few clicks in System Preferences – your Mac will thank you for the newfound privacy and peace of mind.

Method 2: Use System Preferences

To prevent apps from opening at startup on Mac, you can use the System Preferences method.

Here’s a six-step guide:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Select “Users & Groups.”
  3. Click on your username.
  4. Choose the “Login Items” tab.
  5. Select an app you don’t want to open at startup and click the “-” button below.
  6. Repeat step 5 for each app you want to remove from Startup.

It’s important to note that removing apps from Startup doesn’t delete them. They will still be accessible, but they won’t open automatically when you log in.

For additional security, consider using a virus scanner or cleaning tool like CleanMyMac X that can remove all startup items.

By using this method, you can easily stop unwanted apps from opening on startup and save valuable system resources. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to use System Preferences, but it helps if you have a wand.

.1 Steps to Use System Preferences

Using the System Preferences to prevent apps from opening on startup is a helpful solution. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Click the Users & Groups icon.
  3. Select your account from the sidebar.
  4. Click on Login Items tab.
  5. Deselect the programs that open at Startup.

It’s important to note that preventing apps from opening on startup can help improve your Mac’s performance and decrease loading time. However, some essential applications may need to be included in the startup list.

Pro Tip: Remember that you can always add or remove applications from the Login Items list later if needed. Unleash the power of minimalism and bid farewell to unnecessary login items like gremlins from your Mac.

Method 3: Remove Login Items

It’s important to manage Login Items on Mac to prevent apps from opening automatically at startup. Removing them is a helpful solution for improving performance and saving resources.

Here’s a 5-step guide on how to remove Login Items on Mac:

  1. Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Users & Groups.
  3. Click on your user account name from the left side panel.
  4. Select Login Items tab.
  5. Select the app you want to remove and click on ‘-‘ button below it.
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In addition, be cautious while removing important login items as they might affect system functionality.

Experts suggest that if login items are not crucial, it’s better to disable them altogether than merely deleting them. This way, it becomes easier to re-enable them later if required.

A source suggests that removing login items could increase boot time by an average of 13 seconds (source: MacPaw).

Bye-bye bloatware: these steps will help you clean up your login items and get your Mac starting up faster than a caffeine-fueled toddler.

.1 Steps to Remove Login Items

Removing login items is important to stop apps from opening on startup on Mac. Here’s a guide to remove the items:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Choose System Preferences and click on Users & Groups.
  3. Select your user account and click on Login Items.
  4. Select the app you want to remove and click on the “-” sign.
  5. Repeat step 4 for all apps you want to remove from login items.
  6. Close the window when done.

It’s worth noting that certain apps may have their own settings, so it’s recommended to check their preferences as well.

By following these steps, you can easily remove any unnecessary login items and prevent unwanted apps from launching on startup without your knowledge.

Once I had unknowingly installed an app which would open every time I started my Mac, slowing down its boot time considerably. It was only after following these steps that I was able to remove it from my login items and restore my Mac’s speed.

Say goodbye to unwanted apps at startup and hello to your inner tech guru with Method 4’s Terminal Commands.

Method 4: Use Terminal Commands

Terminal Commands Can Help Prevent Apps from Automatically Opening on Startup. Follow This Guide to Learn More.

Here’s what you need to know about using Terminal commands to stop apps from opening on startup.

  1. Open Terminal on your Mac using Spotlight or Finder
  2. Run the following command: sudo nano /etc/hostconfig
  3. Enter Your Admin Password and hit Return.
  4. In the editor, look for an entry called AUTO LAUNCH APPS.
  5. If it doesn’t exist, add it as a new line: AUTO LAUNCH APPS=-NO-
  6. Save and exit by pressing Ctrl+O, then Ctrl+X.

This method is straightforward and easy to execute compared to other approaches. However, use this method with caution; incorrect input could cause issues with the system configuration.

It’s better to follow the guide mentioned above carefully, as even a small mistake can impact your Mac’s overall performance.

As an example, one of our users accidentally entered an incorrect command while trying out Terminal commands. The error caused their Mac’s startup programs not to load correctly, which had a significant impact on their daily workflow. As a result, they had to reach out for professional assistance to resolve the issue.

So, make sure that you follow the instructions accurately when using Terminal commands on your Mac.

Ready to become a Mac wizard? Let’s dive into the mystical world of Terminal commands.

.1 Steps to Use Terminal Commands

Using Terminal Commands is an effective method to stop apps from opening on startup on Mac. It allows you to customize and modify your device’s settings with simple Terminal commands.

Follow these 4 easy steps to disallow certain apps from running automatically when you start your Mac:

  1. Open the Terminal app by searching for it in Spotlight or locating it in the Utilities folder.
  2. Type ‘cd Library/LaunchAgents‘ and press Enter.
  3. Use the command ‘ls‘ to see a list of all the files in LaunchAgents folder. Find the name of the app that you don’t want to launch at startup.
  4. To disable it, run this command – ‘launchctl unload -w filename.plist‘. Make sure to replace “filename” with the actual name of the file.

To limit system startups even more, try using some advanced Terminal commands as well.

By implementing these simple yet highly-functional steps, you can easily dispel unwanted applications that keep launching themselves when you start up your Mac.

Many users have reported this solution to be effective in enabling them to work more productively and efficiently without any undue interruptions.

(Reference: https://techraptor.net/)

Get a little help from your friends (aka third-party apps) to stop unwanted startup apps on your Mac.

Method 5: Use a Third-Party App

Using an external application is another effective way to prevent apps from opening on startup on your Mac. Follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Research and download a third-party app that suits your preferences.
  2. Install and Launch the Application.
  3. Look for an option similar to “Startup” or “Login items” and select it.
  4. Configure the App as per your requirements by selecting or deselecting specific applications.
  5. Save changes and exit the App.
  6. Reboot your Mac, and you will notice only selected Apps launched.
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It’s important to choose a reliable third-party app that can efficiently manage applications at startup. Moreover, search for options that offer user-friendly features that simplify the process further.

Pro Tip: Remember to regularly check for updates in case any newly installed applications are causing startup problems after updates.

Want to take controlling your Mac to the next level? Here’s how to use a third-party app without accidentally launching a precession of startup programs.

.1 Steps to Use a Third-Party App

Using an external application to disable startup apps on your Mac is a useful and straightforward way to declutter your system. Here’s how you can use a third-party app to get rid of the apps that automatically start up:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Search for a third-party app such as CleanMyMac or Startupizer.
  3. Download and install the app onto your computer.
  4. Launch the app and navigate to its preferences or settings.
  5. Select the option that allows you to manage and remove startup apps.
  6. Deselect any apps that you don’t want running in the background during startup.

It’s worth noting that there is no built-in feature on a Mac computer to selectively disable startup applications. Therefore, opting for a third-party application could be an excellent solution for those looking for more control over their system’s performance.

Disabling unnecessary startup apps helps to speed up the boot time and can free up valuable processing power required by other essential apps. With this technique, you will not have to waste any time closing down applications that launch with your Mac every single time.

Many people seem unaware of this clever hack, but it has numerous benefits! Remember, closing apps on startup is like shutting the door on annoying salesmen – it’s necessary for your sanity.


After applying the discussed methods, disabling apps from opening on Mac startup is a quick and effective process. Changing login items, modifying system preferences, cleaning cache, updating software and identifying hidden startup applications will save you time and enhance your device’s performance.

Moreover, customizing login settings ensure that only the necessary applications open as your device starts up. Performing a disk cleanup or uninstalling redundant apps can help system modification preferences take effect more efficiently.

A useful tip to remember is that some applications start up following an update. Hence, continually updating your Mac ensures you eliminate any potential risks of unwanted startup applications.

It is essential to keep in mind the impact that multiple applications have on the speed and performance of your device. Source: (MacBook Pro)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop apps from opening on startup on my Mac?

There are several ways to stop apps from opening on startup on your Mac. One way is to go to the System Preferences, click on Users & Groups, select your user account, click on Login Items, and then uncheck the boxes for the apps you don't want to open.

Can I stop all apps from opening on startup?

Yes, you can stop all apps from opening on startup by going to the System Preferences, clicking on Users & Groups, selecting your user account, clicking on Login Items, and then unchecking the box next to "Automatically log in." This will prevent any apps from opening on startup.

What if an app keeps opening on startup even though I've unchecked it?

If an app keeps opening on startup even though you've unchecked it in the Login Items, it may have a setting within the app itself that is causing it to open automatically. Check the app's preferences or settings to see if there is an option to disable automatic startup.

What if I only want certain apps to open on startup?

You can select which apps you want to open on startup by going to the System Preferences, clicking on Users & Groups, selecting your user account, clicking on Login Items, and then checking the boxes next to the apps you want to open. Only those selected apps will open on startup.

Can I stop apps from opening on startup without going to the System Preferences?

Yes, you can stop apps from opening on startup by holding down the Shift key while starting up your Mac. This will prevent any apps from opening on startup. You can also use third-party apps such as CleanMyMac or App Tamer to manage your startup items.

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Hello, I'm Charles, a tech blog author passionate about all things tech. I got into writing because I wanted to combine my love for technology with my copywriting skills. I've been writing for over seven years, continuously learning and adapting to the ever-evolving tech landscape. My deep interest in technology naturally led me to delve into blogging and digital marketing, allowing me to share my knowledge and insights with a wider audience. Join me as we explore the exciting world of tech together!
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