Show All Applications That Open At Login On Mac OSX Lion

While trying to disable Skype from starting up automatically because of Skype 5.X’s horrible user interface I ran across some settings that I was previously not aware of on Mac OSX Lion. Specifically I found the location where all of the applications that automatically start at login are listed.  I was really happy to find this setting as there were a bunch of applications that I had previously uninstalled and there were still traces of those applications in places such as the Login Items list that had not been removed with the applications.

Display All Applications That Open At Mac Login: 

Depending on how familiar you are with the System Preferences area of the Mac Operating System, which is currently Mac OSX, it should be fairly easy locating the items that start at login. First click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your desktop and select System Preferences from the drop down menu to display the System Preferences configuration window below.

Mac OSX Lion System Preferences: 

Mac System Preferences Window

Now click on the Users & Groups icon located in the System are of the System Preferences configuration window which will open the Users & Groups configuration window as shown in the below example image.

Mac OSX Lion Users & Groups Configuration Window: 

Mac Users And Groups Configuration Window

On this screen you may first have to unlock the ability to make changes to users and groups depending on what your security settings are set to. You can see if you need to unlock system preferences changes by the status of the lock icon located on each of the Mac OSX Lion system preferences windows. If the icon is in the locked state as shown below you will need to click the icon and enter a system password to enable system preferences modifications.

Mac OSX Lion System Preferences Lock Icon Status: Locked

Mac System Preferences Lock Icon Status: Locked

If the status of the lock icon was already unlocked you can proceed with changes to Mac users and groups. Regardless once you clicked the lock icon and entered your Mac system password the lock icon will go from locked to unlocked as shown in the below example image.

Mac OSX Lion System Preferences Lock Icon Status: Unlocked

Mac System Preferences Lock Icon Status: Unlocked

Now that system preference changes are enabled you should highlight the user whose list of applications that launch on startup you want to view. With the user highlighted click on Login Items which is a a Mac OSX styled tab next to Password which is the open tab by default. Once you click on Login Items the list of applications that launch when you login to your Mac will be displayed as shown in the below example image.

List Of Applications That Start When You Login To Mac Computer: 

List Of Applications That Start When You Login To Your Mac

Using this configuration window you can now disable applications from starting when you login to your Mac, add more application to start when you login to your Mac, or simply view all of the non system applications that start when you login to your Mac. Notice in the above example image that there are two items in the list where the Kind column has the item listed as Unknown and there is a yellow triangle to the right of the item. In my case there are both applications that have been uninstalled on my Mac and were not removed from this list. If you have any items that have a yellow triangle next to them then you should likely remove the items because every time you login your Mac is attempting to launch an application that no longer is installed or has been moved to a different location without updating this shortcut. Below is an example image updated list on my computer that shows many fewer applications to start at launch as I always try to minimize applications that start at launch to make booting my Macbook quicker.

Mac Applications That Launch At Login: Updated To Minimize Resources Used At Login

Login Items Minimized To Save Mac Resources On Boot

Last but not least if you click the check box in the Hide column the application will start quietly on login meaning that the application will still launch but it won’t actually open any windows.

You can also add applications to start when you login to your Mac by clicking the plus (+) icon located below the list of applications, navigating to the Applications folder in the Finder window that appears, and then selecting the application.


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