Startup items, also known as login items are apps or items that automatically launch whenever you log in to your Mac. OS X (now macOS) makes dealing with startup items really easy – you just need to go to Users & Groups in the System Preferences and add the apps or items that you wish to start automatically to a list. In this guide we will show you how to actually get this done.
Adding Startup Items
- Open System Preferences by clicking on the icon in the Dock, or from the Apple menu on the top-left of the screen.
- Click on the ‘Users & Groups’ icon in the System Preferences.
- In the ‘Users & Groups’ section you will see your user account on the left-hand side, make sure it is selected.
- Click on the ‘Login Items’ tab. It will show you the list of items that are currently selected to open automatically at login.
- Click on the + sign at the bottom of the list.
- From the finder window navigate to the Application or Item that you would like to add to the list. Select the item and then click the ‘Add’ button.
Alternatively, like most things in Mac, to add a new application to the startup list, you can just drag and drop the item into the list.
You can also remove the items easily by selecting one and clicking the – (minus) button.
Add Startup Items Through Dock Menus
If you wish to add an item that is pinned to your dock to your startup list, you can simply do that from the dock menu. All you need to do is to right-click on the app or item, go to options, and then select ‘Start at Login’ from the sub-menu.
Be Careful About Adding Too Many Startup Items
While adding startup items can make using your Mac easier, you have to make sure you don’t get carried away with it because adding too many apps to run automatically when you start your Mac can actually slow it down and result in longer boot times.
For more details on how to remove startup items and increase your Mac performance, read our article on: How to remove login items you don’t need to improve your Mac’s performance.