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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. goes into some detail on the various locations to launch applications from at boot.

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