How to stop programs from running at startup on a Mac to make your computer run more efficiently

If you limit what programs can run at startup on your Mac, you can avoid slow startups and crashing.

caption
If you limit what programs can run at startup on your Mac, you can avoid slow startups and crashing.
source
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • You can easily stop programs from running at startup on your Mac computer using your System Preferences.
  • Choosing which programs automatically run at startup can save you time and let you jump into your work, social media, or a project.
  • If too many programs start running when your Mac starts up, it can cause your computer to start up slow, and in some cases even cause it to crash.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Chances are that most of the time when you hop on your Mac, you go through the same first steps.

For me, it’s checking my email (in horror), noting news headlines on a few sites, and checking my pitches and assignments for the day. That means using Safari, Chrome, and Word all within a matter of minutes, so it’s helpful to have those three programs start running right when my Macbook starts up.

However, if you have too many programs running as soon as your Mac starts up, it can slow everything down, making that routine startup a tedious slog with plenty of instances of the spinning wheel of death.

To speed up your Mac’s startup, cut down the number of programs running at startup, or even set the computer so no programs start running automatically.

Here’s how to do it.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

MacBook Pro (From $1,299.99 at Best Buy)

How to stop programs from running at startup on your Mac

1. Turn on your Mac and then click the Apple logo at the top-left corner of the screen.

2. Click “System Preferences…” and then click the “Users & Groups” icon.

Click

caption
Click “Users & Groups.”
source
Steven John/Business Insider

3. Click “Login Items” at the top-right corner of the window.

If a computer has multiple users, each user can customize his or her startup preferences.

caption
If a computer has multiple users, each user can customize his or her startup preferences.
source
Steven John/Business Insider

4. Click the lock icon at the bottom left corner and enter your password if prompted. Click “Unlock.”

You will need to know the password to make changes to how the computer starts up.

caption
You will need to know the password to make changes to how the computer starts up.
source
Steven John/Business Insider

5. Click on the check box next to the program listed below the words “These items will open automatically when you log in” and then the minus sign at the bottom of the screen to remove it.

Check the box next to the program you want to remove.

caption
Check the box next to the program you want to remove.
source
Steven John/Business Insider

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech: