Startup Items in macOS: How to Remove Them

Your Mac has various features to simplify and speed up your work. Developers constantly add new ones so you can customize the virtual environment for your needs. Despite thoughtfulness and utility of default functions, they can become harmful to Mac performance and its productivity without user supervision.

Startup Items

These system attributes can be easily accessed and altered by inexperienced device owners as well as by the applications during the installation or operation. Considering that usually, users don’t pay enough attention to the modifications they consent to during the software setting, they end up with the significant amount of possibilities like the inclusion of the app to the list of startup items.

What are startup items?

One of the standard macOS features is its ability to open the defined programs during the system launch. Applications engaged in this process are titled as startup items.

Startup Items

Their selection is determined by users during or after the installation of the compatible apps. The majority of modern software has the auto-launch option that can be enabled in the default mode.

What influence startup items have on Mac performance?

Although it appears as time-saving service, if it isn’t adequately maintained, it will lower the operation speed of your device. Especially with old hardware, MacOS loading is a resource consuming process.

How to remove startup items?

Such features can be disabled in the particular apps. But every program makes users take different actions for this purpose, so it’s better to resolve the problem by altering MacOS settings.

Modifications to contemporary operating systems can be made manually or via specific apps. The first way surpasses the other at the personal data security level but takes more time. You can find a detailed problem solution here, or learn how to remove startup items manually below.

To access the list of startup items you need to open System Preferences > Users & Groups. Then select your username and switch to the Login Items tab. Mark the apps you desire to exclude and click “–”. Here you can also add other system launch apps by pressing the “+” button. This directory can also be easily reached if you use hotkey Cmd+Shift+G.

You can also get rid of discarded preferences files like from unnecessary cache. These data can be accessed if you open the specific system libraries:

  • /Library/StartUpItems – the storage of files that are involved during the app launch which timing is synchronized with OS start.
  • /Library/LaunchDaemon – the folder containing elements that determine the performance peculiarities of startup items.
  • /Library/LaunchAgents – the data collection of apps that start during the OS profile login process.

Consider that all these folders comprise the files that are vital for the appropriate software performance. That’s why you should make the deliberate decision about the deletion of each one. If you don’t know what the file is for, just keep it not to get the app crashed. To avoid damage, backup the data before proceeding with the manipulations.

All of these libraries contain many folders. You should remove only its, particularly selected file. During the cleanup, you can leave untouched files storing in the directories /System/Library/LaunchDaemons and /System/Library/LaunchAgents. The last storage part though can help to trace the app that negatively affects the startup process.


So, I hope you understand the concept of startup items in MacOS and also how they affect a MacOS. Along with this thing, I have also described how you can remove this thing by both the ways. Now, it’s your time to use it and after using these steps tell us in the comment section.

Aksshit Wadhwa

Hi I'm Aksshit Wadhwa, pursuing BCA, and a proficient Website Designer, Blogger, Marketer who manages several sites including to help newbies understanding the concept about blogging and being an expert in the industry. Now in 2018, I've also started my own Fashion Blog - and I'm now a Fashion Influencer too. (Read More...)

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