Software & AppsOperating SystemmacOS

How To Change Startup Apps on Mac

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Startup apps, also known as login items, are convenient and improve your Mac’s efficiency and monitor its health. However, too many startup apps delay the Mac OS booting process and take up your computer’s memory.

Moreover, it isn’t delightful when multiple unnecessary windows open when you turn on the computer. Fortunately, you can manage what apps and programs launch when you start your Mac.

Quick Answer

In a nutshell, you can change startup apps on Mac in the following ways.

• From the System Preferences.
• From the Dock panel.
• In the Finder.
• From the individual app’s preferences.

We compiled this article to guide you on changing startup apps on Mac.

Method #1: Changing Startup Apps on Mac From the System Preferences

The System Preferences app lets you customize your Mac, including user-profiles and other settings. Here’s how to change the login items on your Mac.

  1. Click on the Apple icon.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Select “Users & Groups“.
  4. Tap on your account name.
  5. Click on “Login Items“. A list of startup apps will appear.
  6. Click on the plus sign (+) to add an app to the Login Items list.
  7. Tap on an app and press the minus sign (-) to remove it from the Login Items list.
  8. Click on an app and select “Hide Box” to retain it as a startup but hide it from the menu bar.

Method #2: Changing Startup Apps on Mac From the Dock Panel

The Dock panel on your Mac houses the apps and features you are likely to use, like recently downloaded files and frequently used apps. It is at the bottom of your computer’s home screen, but you can position it at your screen’s top, left, right, or bottom edge.

You can change the apps that launch when you start your Mac from the Dock panel. Follow these steps to do so.

  1. Right-click on the app you want to manage from the Login Items list.
  2. Select “Options” on the pop-up menu that appears.
  3. Tap on “Open at Login” if you want the app to launch when you start your Mac.
  4. If you want to remove the app from the Login Items list, uncheck the box beside the “Open at Login” option.

Method #3: Changing the Startup Apps on Mac in Finder

The Finder app helps you find, organize, and manage files and apps on your computer. Follow these steps to change the startup apps on Mac in Finder.

  1. Click on Finder.
  2. Select “Go“.
  3. Tap and hold the Option key.
  4. Press “Library” on the drop-down menu that appears.
  5. Click on the “LaunchAgents” folder.
  6. Delete the startup programs you don’t want to launch when you boot your Mac.
  7. Go back to the Library window and click on “LaunchDaemons“.
  8. Delete the programs you don’t wish to launch when you start your computer.

Unless you know your way around macOS, avoid managing your startup apps and programs from the Finder. Most items on the LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folders are vital for the seamless running of your computer. Deleting some things from these two folders can make your computer unstable or cause system crashes.

Method #4: Changing the Startup Apps From the Individual App’s Preferences

You can also manage which app launches when you start your Mac from the app preferences. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Launch the app.
  2. Click the app’s name on the menu bar.
  3. Select “Preferences“.
  4. Look for the option that lets you manage if the app launches when you start Mac. 
  5. Disable the app from launching when you start your computer.

Most of the apps on your Mac will have app preferences options. However, not all apps have this option, thus limiting the apps you can manage using the above method.


Some startup apps are vital for the smooth running of your Mac. However, having many startup apps slows down the computer’s booting process. You can change startup on Mac from the System Preferences, the Dock panel, the Finder app, or the particular app’s preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I customize my Mac’s startup apps?

To customize your Mac’s startup apps, follow these steps.

1. Click on the Apple icon.
2. Select “System Preferences“.
3. Tap on “Users & Groups“.
4. Click on “Login Items“.
5. Press the plus sign (+) to add an app to Login Items.
6. To remove an app from the Login Items list, select the app and click the minus sign (-).

How do I disable automatic Spotify startup on my Mac?

Follow these steps to stop automatic Spotify startup on your Mac.

1. Launch the Spotify app.
2. Click on “Spotify“.
3. Select “Preferences” on the drop-down menu.
4. Tap on “Show Advanced Settings“.
5. Choose “Startup and Window Behavior“.
6. Click on “Open Spotify Automatically After You Login To Your Computer“.
7. Select “No“.

How do I stop apps from opening on their own on my Mac?

There are several ways to stop an app from opening on its own on your Mac. You can disable automatic startup from the system preferences, the Dock, Finder, and the app’s preferences option. Changing the startup apps from the Dock is the simplest method, and here’s how to do it.

1. Right-click on the app you want to disable automatic startup.
2. Click on “Options” on the drop-down menu.
3. Deselect the “Open at Login” box.

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