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An app on a Mac that automatically launches on boot and I don't want it to. The app itself offers no way to prevent this. Rather than identify the app, I figured it would be nice to use this question as an opportunity to identify all the places such an app could hide.

Here's where I've looked so far, and I still haven't found it:

  • Accounts - Login Items
  • Dock - Open at Login
  • launchd - Cycled through each tab of agents & daemons in Lingon

Other ideas?

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Why don't you tell us what program is auto-launching? – Josh K Mar 8 '10 at 2:03

There is a folder with the path: Macintosh HD/System/Library/StartupItems

I haven't used it in about 7 years, but is it possible that some document associated with the mystery app is in there? The OS would start up the application in order to open the document.

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Also /Library/StartupItems for 3rd-party apps. – Steve Folly Mar 8 '10 at 6:33

Don't forget to check System Preferences undre Accounts -> Your Login Account. You'll see a tab that says "Login Items" that lists apps that launch when you log into your machine.

Also, from the console check the crontab (is that launchd in OS X? I think it might be...) as you may have entries in there auto-launching things. You need to sudo to check and edit it for other users.

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As well as what's been mentioned so far there are also login hooks for the loginwindow process.

Also bootstrap daemons were introduced in OS X 10.3 but are now deprecated. But that doesn't mean it's not still being used if your application was built for 10.3 and never updated.

http://developer.apple.com/mac/library/documentation/MacOSX/Conceptual/BPSystemStartup/BPSystemStartup.html goes into some detail on the various locations to launch applications from at boot.

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