Tip: Turn off apps that automatically launch when you boot your Mac

In System Preferences, there’s a setting that lets you have your Mac automatically open an app every time you login. It can even automatically open folders or documents. Just go to System Preferences, then click Users (or Users & Groups), then click the Login Items tab.

You’ll see a list of items set to automatically open whenever you login. Beneath that list are plus and minus buttons that let you add or remove items from that list.

If you’re having a problem with something automatically opening every time you login, chances are excellent that it’s in that list.

Still, there are some apps that automatically open even though they’re not in your Login Items list. If you run into one of these apps, and want to stop it from auto-launching, the first thing to do is to check that app’s preferences. There’s probably a checkbox to turn automatic launching on or off.

If you can’t find a preference setting, there are three five other places to look:

  1. /System/Library/StartupItems
  2. /Library/StartupItems
  3. /Library/LaunchDaemons
  4. /Library/LaunchAgents
  5. ~/Library/LaunchAgents

In theory, there’s a fourth place: /System/Library/LaunchDaemons. But that folder is reserved for parts of the OS X operating system, and you shouldn’t find any 3rd-party apps in that folder.