Mac Software

How do I change the startup apps on my Mac?

change startup apps on Mac
Make startup as smooth as possible

There are two reasons to change the startup apps on your Mac. First, to declutter: it’s annoying to repeatedly close unwanted windows as soon as your Mac boots up. Second, you can quickly set programs to be ready and waiting when you start. We’ll run through how to change the startup apps on your Mac and start your day the right way.

The process takes under a minute to complete and if even if you’re using an eight-year-old Mac, our advice should work. However, for some reason, Apple has made the settings tricky to find, which is where we come in…

How to change the startup apps on your Mac

First, head to System Preferences by either clicking the metal cog icon in the Dock at the bottom of the screen or typing “System Preferences” into the search box.

Once you’re there, click on “Users & Groups” (two overlaid silhouettes).

Select the user from the left-hand list (if you’re the owner of the Mac, “Admin” will be automatically selected) and then click on the “Login items” tab above your name and photo.

This will bring up a list of the programs that are currently set to appear when you log in or boot up your Mac. If you’ve never managed your startup apps before, the list could be shockingly long.

If you want to get rid of one, highlight the app listing (for example, Spotify above) and click on the small minus button. And that’s it: rinse and repeat as many times as you like.

However, if you want to set a program to appear, click on the plus button and then either type the app’s name into the search box or select it from your Applications list, before pressing the blue Add button.

If you want to avoid an irritating “appalanche” (apologies!) of windows every time you start up, you can also toggle the Hide tickbox next to the app’s name. It means the app will start, but in the background.

Once you’re finished, it’s a case of closing the settings window and enjoying your tailored startup.

Do you have any handy tips that make using your Mac more pleasant? If so, please share in the comments below.

READ NEXT: How do I uninstall apps on a Mac?

About the author

Max Figgett

Max has written for numerous websites and magazines over the years. Whether it’s about ancient hardware or software secrets, no Big Tech Question is too obscure for him to tackle.

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