How-To Geek

Mac OS X: Change Which Apps Start Automatically at Login

OS X makes dealing with startup items really easy — you just head into the preferences and add or remove things from the list. But if you’re a recent convert to Mac, you might not know how to do it. But now you will.

Open up System Preferences, and then click on the Users & Groups icon. Once there, find your user account on the left-hand side (although it will always be selected), and then click on the Login Items tab.

Now you’ll see a list of items that will open automatically when you log in. You can select an item in the list and click the Minus button to remove it from starting up, and you can check the Hide box to make the application not come to the foreground when it starts — it’ll basically start up, but minimize itself into the dock when it starts.

Removing items is as easy as selecting one and clicking the Minus button.

To add a new application into the startup list, you can just drag and drop the icon into the list, or you can click the Plus icon and select an item using the file browser manually. It’s usually easier to just drag and drop though.

You can just drag and drop items directly into the list to add them.

Here’s a tip: You can drag and drop the application directly from the Spotlight search window, so you don’t even have to open Finder to find it.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/30/14

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