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How to Add Apps to Mac Startup

Updated on July 24, 2013
My iMac with the Time Out Free App in use. Break reminder apps are a good idea to add to the Startup Programs.
My iMac with the Time Out Free App in use. Break reminder apps are a good idea to add to the Startup Programs. | Source

Macintosh desktop computers built by Apple Inc., have been around since 1984. In 1998, Apple Inc., brought out their newly designed and built all-in-one computers call the iMac. These products are mostly geared for the home, education, and for the creative professionals such as the Mac mini desktop, Mac Pro tower graphics workstation, and the MacBook Air and Mac Book Pro laptops.

The desktop computers and laptops use the Mac OS or Mac Operating Systems. Mac OS is a graphical user interface-based operating system and is very simple to use. The same ease of use is true of all other Apple products such as the iPhones and iPads.

Are you one of those efficient time conscious Mac users who like to have all the essential Apps (applications) open when you log in to your account? Then this article is for you. You can also make sure that unnecessary Apps don't open every time you log in.

Adding Apps to Mac Startup

Startup Programs, also called Login Items, are those applications, documents, folders, servers etc., which you wish to automatically launch when you boot your Mac or log in to your account in case of multiple users.

It saves to time launch commonly used applications automatically instead of opening them up manually. Let us say you are building a website locally on your computer using a content management system like Wordpress or Joomla. You can make sure that MAMP Servers startup when you log in to your account. This will save quite a bit of your time.

The same can be done with an internet browser if you like checking your emails as soon as you start your computer. Break reminder apps should also be set to launch on startup so that we avoid eye-strain and backache. The possibilities are endless.

Steps to Add Apps for Automatic Launch at Log In

Here are the steps to set it up:

  • Go to Apple menu on your desktop and click on System Preferences or the icon your dock you can click on that.

Screenshot of the System Preferences Window on my computer
Screenshot of the System Preferences Window on my computer | Source
Screenshot of the Accounts window with the list of Apps set to launch on log in.
Screenshot of the Accounts window with the list of Apps set to launch on log in. | Source
  • Click on the Accounts icon.
  • Click on Login Items tab.
  • Click on the User Account you would like to set the parameters for.
  • You will see a list of applications that are set to launch on log in.
  • You can Add (+) and Delete (-) applications by clicking on the respective buttons.
  • Click Add (+): You can select and application, document, folder, or disk.

If you want the window for an item to remain closed, then click the Hide checkbox.

Turn Off Startup Programs You don't Need

There is a possibility that without being aware many of the programs that are not needed will startup whenever you log in. Some apps run quietly in the background with us being aware of them.

By checking the list of Login Items you can select that you would like to Delete (-). The same steps above can be followed to remove them.

  • Select the item and then click the Delete (-) button in the Login Items Window.

By doing this you will see that the boot times will be faster and the machine works more efficiently.

Another Way to Add Login Items

There is another way of adding Apps to the Startup Programs. This is useful if you want to add just a couple of apps when you think it might be useful to have them open when you log in or boot the computer.

  1. Go to the Dock.
  2. Click and Hold on the icon of the App.
  3. Click on Options
  4. Select – Open at Login

This will add the App in the Login Items list.

There are always efficient ways of doing things on the computer. It is a good idea to be aware of how to save time doing the things we do on a regular basis.


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    • Sushma Webber profile imageAUTHOR

      Sushma Webber 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Glad the article was helpful.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Didn't know you could do this at all thanks for sharing.


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