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3 Easy Ways To Stop Apps From Opening On Startup

If you’ve noticed your Mac taking longer to boot up or running sluggishly, you’re not alone. Unwanted apps launching at startup could be the culprit, affecting your system’s performance over time.

To stop apps from opening on startup in macOS, you can use System Preferences, Terminal commands, or third-party software like CleanMyMac. In System Preferences, go to “Users & Groups,” then “Login Items” to manage startup apps. Terminal commands offer a more advanced approach, while third-party software provides additional features for system optimization.

Ready to take control of your Mac’s startup process? Keep reading to discover easy and effective ways to manage which apps launch when you boot up your computer.

Why Do Apps Open on Startup? 

Many macOS users often wonder why certain apps open on startup without explicit permission. This usually happens because some applications set themselves to launch automatically upon system boot. This feature can be convenient for essential programs like email clients or calendar apps.

However, it can also be a nuisance when non-essential apps launch automatically, consuming valuable system resources and increasing boot time. Understanding why this happens is the first step in taking control of your Mac’s startup process.

How to Identify Startup Apps

Before you can manage which apps open on startup, it’s crucial to identify them first. macOS offers several ways to do this, but two of the most straightforward methods are using System Preferences and Activity Monitor.

In System Preferences, navigate to “Users & Groups” and then click on “Login Items.” Here, you’ll see a list of apps set to launch at startup.

Alternatively, you can use Activity Monitor to view all currently running applications. While this won’t show you apps set to launch at startup specifically, it can give you an idea of which apps are consuming the most resources.

Method 1: Using System Preferences

One of the easiest ways to manage startup apps on macOS is through System Preferences. This built-in feature provides a user-friendly interface that even beginners can navigate with ease. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu or Dock.
  2. Click on “Users & Groups.”
  3. Select your user account from the left sidebar.
  4. Navigate to the “Login Items” tab.
  5. You’ll see a list of login items, or apps set to open on startup.
  6. To remove an app, highlight it and click the “-” button at the bottom.
  7. To add an app, click the “+” button and choose the application from the Finder window.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage startup programs and improve your Mac’s performance. This method is straightforward and doesn’t require any third-party software or advanced technical skills.

Method 2: Using Terminal Commands

For those who are more technically inclined, the macOS Terminal offers a powerful way to manage startup apps. This method gives you more control but should be used cautiously. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Terminal from the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.
  2. To list all startup items, type launchctl list and press Enter.
  3. Identify the startup programs you wish to remove. They will be listed under “Label.”
  4. To disable a startup item, type launchctl bootout [domain] [service-name] and press Enter. Replace [domain] and [service-name] with the appropriate values.

Note: Incorrect use of Terminal commands can lead to system instability. Always double-check your commands and understand their implications.

Using Terminal commands allows for a more granular approach to managing startup items, but it’s best suited for those who are comfortable with command-line interfaces.

Method 3: Third-Party Software

If you’re looking for an alternative to built-in macOS features, third-party software like CleanMyMac can be a viable option. These programs offer a more intuitive interface and additional features that can help you manage not just startup apps but also other aspects of system maintenance.

  1. Download and install a trusted third-party application like CleanMyMac.
  2. Open the software and navigate to the “Optimization” or similar section.
  3. Locate the startup items tab, where you’ll see a list of login items and launch agents.
  4. Select the apps you wish to disable or remove and follow the on-screen instructions.

While third-party software can offer more features and easier navigation, it’s essential to be cautious. Always download software from reputable sources to avoid security implications.

Tips for Managing Startup Apps 

Effectively managing startup programs isn’t just a one-time task; it requires regular maintenance. Here are some quick tips to keep your Mac running smoothly:

  1. Periodically review your startup apps list in System Preferences and remove any that are no longer necessary.
  2. Use Activity Monitor to keep an eye on resource-hungry apps that may automatically set themselves to launch at startup.
  3. If you’re unsure about an app, research its functionality before disabling it. Some apps are crucial for Mac performance and system stability.

By regularly checking and updating your startup apps, you can optimize your Mac for faster boot times and better performance.

Wrapping Up

Managing startup apps on your Mac doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re a beginner or a tech-savvy user, options like System Preferences, Terminal commands, and third-party software like CleanMyMac have got you covered.

By taking these simple steps, you can improve your Mac’s boot time and overall performance. Take charge of your startup apps today and give your Mac the efficiency it deserves.