How to Disable Startup Programs on Mac

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Clare Weaver

4 min read

Have you encountered the following problems while using your Mac?

  • Mac boots up slowly.
  • Mac runs lagging.
  • There are too many app windows opened after starting your Mac.

Actually, you're not alone. Read on this blog post, and you'll find four easy ways to stop unwanted programs from running at Mac startup.

How to Disable Startup Items on Your Mac

Also Read: How to Stop Spotify from Opening on Startup on Mac

What Are Startup Programs on Mac?

Startup items, also called login items, are applications and services that run in the background when you start your Mac. Some of them may be added to startup by yourself, while others may not have your permission. More than this, too many startup items will slow down and reduce your Mac performance. Thus, it's necessary for you to disable those unwanted startups.

It is undeniable that some startup items can improve your work efficiency. But too many auto-login items will not only eat up your memory but also degrade the performance of your Mac. Therefore, it is recommended to change the startup program according to your needs.

How to Disable Startup Apps from the Dock

The easiest way to stop an app from opening on Mac startup is to use the Dock. Here're the steps.

  1. Launch the app you want to disable.

  2. Right-click on its icon in the dock.

  3. Untick the Open at Login option. (Do the reverse if you want the app to start automatically.)

    How to Disable Mac Apps from the Dock

How to Disable Login Items in System Preferences

Using System Preferences can help you stop apps from launching on startup in batches. Here's how:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the menu bar.

  2. Select System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items.

  3. In the Login Items list, you'll find all the apps that will start up when you log in to your Mac. Highlight the ones you want to disable, unlock the padlock in the lower-left corner, and click the minus button under the list.

    How to Disable Login Items on Mac in System Preferences

  4. Select the hide box next to the item if you don't want to see its window after login.

  5. Close the login window.

How to Remove Launch Daemons and Launch Agents with Finder

Even if you disable all unwanted applications, you may still find some annoying programs start automatically when you boot your Mac. The reason for this is the Launch Daemons and Launch Agents, which can be found in your Library folder. Let's see how to remove them using the Finder.

  1. Click the Finder icon in the dock.

  2. On the Finder window, press Shift + Command + G to open the Go to Folder window.

  3. Go over the following folder to remove launch daemons and launch agents you don't need.

    How to Remove Launch Daemons and Launch Agents on Mac

    • /Library/LaunchDaemons
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons
    • /System/Library/LaunchAgents
    • /System/Library/LaunchDaemons

How to Manage Startup Programs Efficiently

You may notice that managing your startup programs with the above ways are not as efficient as you think, and your system may also be at risk if you delete some important files by mistake. Here we introduce you to a safe and quick way to control your startup programs. That is to use BuhoCleaner, a free and easy to use mac startup manager. Using this tool, you can disable and enable apps and startup services without any hassle.

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Make sure you have BuhoCleaner installed on your Mac.
  2. Launch it and click on the Startup Items tab.
  3. Click the Scan button, and you will see two lists: User Login Items and Startup Services. How to Quickly Change Startup Programs on Mac
  4. To disable an app, click the button next to it to change its status to Disabled. How to Manage Startup Apps on Mac Efficiently
  5. To disable a launch daemons or launch agent service, switch to Startup Service and then change the service status to disabled. If you want to remove the service, right-click on it and select Remove from the drop-down menu. Quickly Disable/Remove Launch Daemons and Launch Agents on Mac


Now you know how to disable startup programs on Mac in four ways. Give them a try now. If you don't want to spend too much time dealing with startup problems, we suggest you use BuhoCleaner to manage startup programs automatically.


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