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When I boot my Mac, I have some programs that start up automatically. Where can I see the list of these programs to disable some?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Login items

Most of those can be found under

System Preferences - Accounts - Login Items

Unlock the preferences (left bottom corner) and remove them by pressing the small - button.

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Launch Agents

Developers should place their apps into the Login items. OS X also has launchd which can launch agents. So basically these are things that are also loaded when the system starts.

~/Library/LaunchAgents         Per-user agents provided by the user.
/Library/LaunchAgents          Per-user agents provided by the administrator.
/System/Library/LaunchAgents   Mac OS X Per-user agents.

You shouldn't mess with those on a normal basis, because removing something might render your system unstable. But at one time I installed something that only could be removed by deleting it from my LaunchAgents folder.

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Thank you, the offending software was in LaunchAgents. –  user16145 May 10 '11 at 9:53

Go to system preferences / accounts / your account and then click the 'logon items' tab. Those are the application that run automatically when you log on.

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You might also need to click the padlock icon at the bottom-left corner if it is locked. –  harrymc May 10 '11 at 9:10

It's worth looking for an uninstall (unix executable file) for a particular program that's appearing when you start up your mac.

I had installed some software by Promethean (ActivManager) to connect to a smartboard but the software got on my nerves every time I started the mac.

I found the files in the LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folder but was a bit reluctant to just delete them - I used finder to locate the application folder which contained an "uninstall" program which, when I ran it, cleaned up and removed the offending software.

This might be a better solution for some people.

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