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Managing Apps That Automatically Open When You Log In

You can have apps, documents, folders, or server connections open automatically whenever you log into macOS.

To add or remove automatic items…

  • Look at the top left of your Mac screen and choose “Apple menu > System Preferences.”
  • Click “Users & Groups.”
  • Select your user account and click “Login Items” at the top of the window.
users and groups login item box

Then do one of the following:

  • Add a login item: Click the Add button (a plus sign) below the list of items, select a document, folder, app, server, or another item, then click Add.
  • Remove a login item: Select the name of the item you want to prevent from opening automatically, then click the Remove button (a minus sign) below the list.
  • Hide a login item: If you don’t want an item’s windows to be visible after login, select the Hide checkbox next to the item.
    Note: Hide does not apply to servers, which always appear in the Finder after login.
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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  • “Login Items” is not a complete list! (I was hopping for more when I click on this article!). For example, my computer loads “SnapScan” (Fujitsu scanner software) and OneDrive during boot (I suspect there are others). So far I have not been able to determine where/how to control these these programs.

    • On some if not most of those apps that do not appear in the list – check the preferences menu for that app. There should be an option for open when startup. Uncheck it.

  • Thanks, but there are instances where the application does not show in login items. It may show in the Apple menu, /Library/LaunchDaemons or elsewhere.

  • This is to be differentiated form 2 other features in macOS.:

    when restarting or shutting down, there is the option that can be turned on/off to “Reopen windows when logging back in”
    in the General preference settings of macOS, there is the option to “Close windows when closing and app”. This has the effect of “When selected, open documents and windows will not be restored when you re-open an app.”, which also occurs when you restart a Mac.