How to Remove Startup Items on Mac
Here’s everything you need to know about startup items and how to remove them. Follow this guide and see your Mac booting up in the blink of an eye!
What are startup items
After you press the power button and hear a musical chime, a big Apple logo appears on the screen. There’s a progress bar below that indicates launching startup items – system processes required to start up your Mac. Once you log in to your user account, your Mac will launch login items – applications set to open automatically before you see your desktop.
Basically, both startup and login items mean the same – the more apps launch automatically, the slower your Mac starts up. Worse yet, some applications may covertly install as startup items, burdening your Mac’s processor and reducing its memory capacity. Such items increase your Mac's startup time and decrease its performance.
How to disable startup programs
One of the easiest ways is to use the MacKeeper app. Its Login Items feature displays each app that opens automatically, even if you didn’t select it to launch at startup.
Open MacKeeper, select Login Items, and use the buttons below to add or remove items from the startup list. After that, your Mac will boot up painless and fast.
How to change startup items manually
Let’s say you don’t want Skype to open automatically when you start up your Mac. There are two ways of doing that. Open the Apple menu () and go to System Preferences > Users & Groups. Next, click your account name and open the Login Items pane. Select Skype and click the Minus (-) sign at the bottom to remove Skype from your startup list.
Alternatively, you can stop apps from opening at startup from the Dock. Launch Skype, right-click its icon in the Dock, select Options, and uncheck Open at Login. This will remove Skype from your startup list.
How to fix broken startup items
Sometimes uninstalling an application leaves a login item with a broken link. If you don’t delete it, a broken login item will keep referring to the removed app and simply waste your Mac’s memory.
This is a result of application leftovers – unneeded system files left after uninstalling an app. With MacKeeper it takes a few clicks to clean application leftovers and broken startup items. Simply open MacKeeper, select Smart Uninstaller, and scan your Mac. Next, select leftover files to remove, click the button, and see useless and broken files gone.
How to remove daemons and agents from startup
There are two types of startup items. Daemons are system background processes that launch as soon as your Mac starts. Background processes launched for a specific user are called agents. Both daemons and agents make up a complete login items overview. Open Finder, click Go at the top menu bar, and select Go to Folder. You'll see this window:
Next, paste the following commands:
- /Library/StartUpItems – shows the full list of application files launched at startup
- /Library/LaunchDaemons – displays preference files that define how a system application should work when being launched
- /Library/LaunchAgents – shows preference files for applications that launch after you log in to your Mac
The folders above display app-related files. If you want to check which system files launch at startup, check your system folders:
- /System/Library/LaunchDaemons – displays all system files that run at startup for every user
- /System/Library/LaunchAgents – shows system files that launch for a specific user
The system folders mentioned above contain important Apple files. Avoid deleting them if you don’t want to damage your system.
Removing daemons and agents manually is time-consuming, and it’s much faster to use MacKeeper. Open the Login Items feature and select the Agents and Daemons tab. MacKeeper quickly scans and marks invalid processes with red dots. This is the safest way to remove broken agents and daemons.
Try these steps and start up your Mac in seconds, not in minutes. Enjoy your Mac experience!