5 Ways to Stop Apps from Opening on Startup on Mac [2023]

Clare Weaver.jpeg
Clare Weaver
Last updated: Mar 20, 2023
Summary: This guide will cover what startup programs are and how to stop them from launching at Mac startup.

Have you run into some of these issues while using your Mac?

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

Actually, you're not alone. Read on to find out how to stop unwanted apps and programs from opening on startup on Mac

5 Ways to Stop Apps from Opening on Startup on Mac

What Are Startup Programs on Mac?

Startup programs are the applications and services that run in the background when you start your Mac. You may have added some of them to startup by yourself, while others may not have had your permission.

Having some startup programs can certainly improve your work efficiency. But having too many auto-login items will not only eat up your memory but also degrade the performance of your Mac. So, it's a good idea to go ahead and disable those unwanted startups.

How to Stop Mac Startup Programs and Apps from Opening via 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 on Mac in System Settings/System Preferences

You can also prevent applications from launching at startup in System Settings (macOS Ventura and later) or System Preferences (macOS Monterey and earlier)

On macOS Ventura:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select System Settings.
  2. Click General in the sidebar, then click Login Items on the right.
  3. You will see the options Open at Login and Allow in the Background in the Login Items pane.
  4. To disable a login item, select it and click the Minu (-) button.
  5. To disallow an app to run in the background, click the button next to the item.
Disable Login Items on macOS Ventura

On macOS Monterey and Eariler:

  1. Choose the Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Click Users & Groups, then switch to Login Items.
  3. Highlight the login items you want to disable, unlock the padlock in the lower-left corner, and click the Minus button under the list.
Disable Login Items on macOS Monterey and Earlier

How to Stop Apps from Opening on Mac Startup via BuhoCleaner (Easiest Way)

Want to control your startup programs in a more efficient way? Then try BuhoCleaner. It is a free and easy-to-use Mac startup manager. With this tool, you can quickly and easily disable and enable unwanted apps and startup services.

Free DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide

Here's all 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 and change its status to Disabled.
    How to Disable Login Items on Mac with BuhoCleaner
  5. To disable a launch daemon or launch agent service, switch to Startup Service and change its status to Disabled. If you want to remove the service, right-click on it and select Remove from the drop-down menu. It's that easy!
    Quickly Disable Launch Agents and Daemons on Mac

How to Remove Launch Daemons and Launch Agents via Finder

Even if you disable all startup apps you don't need, you may still find some annoying services that run automatically when you start up your Mac. These launch services are Launch Daemons and Launch Agents and they can be found in your Library folder.

Here’s how to remove them from the startup list using Finder:

  1. Click the Finder icon in the dock.

  2. Press Shift + Command + G to open the Go to Folder window.

  3. Paste the following paths into the boxes, one at a time, press Return, and delete unneeded launch daemons and launch agents.

    • /Library/LaunchDaemons
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons
    • /System/Library/LaunchAgents
    • /System/Library/LaunchDaemons
    How to Remove Launch Daemons and Launch Agents on Mac
The last two folders, /System/Library/LaunchAgents and /System/Library/LaunchDaemons, are essential to your macOS, and you don't know what will happen to your system if you delete them by mistake. So if you're not sure what they are, leave them alone.

How to Stop Apps from Launching via App Preferences

Another way to prevent apps from opening on Mac startup is to use app preferences. Just launch the app you want to disable on startup, open its Preferences window, find the option to manage its startup and change its status to Disabled.

Related Article: 4 Best Ways to Stop Spotify from Launching on Mac Startup


Now you have seen some different approaches to disabling startup apps on your Mac. If you don't want to spend too much time dealing with startup problems, why not give BuhoCleaner a shot? Managing startup programs has never been easier.

Clare Weaver

Clare Weaver has been captivated by the world of Apple products since the launch of iconic iPhone in 2007. With a wealth of experience, Clare is your go-to source for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all things Apple.