< The MacPaw How-tos

How to Remove Startup Items in OS X?


scan files

What are startup items?
Startup items are services and applications that launch every time you start up your Mac. However, sometimes when you remove an application or a service, it leaves a login item with a broken link. These broken login items are completely useless, cause unwanted messages, and waste your Mac's resources (because it looks for non-existant applications). So, let's go over how to safely get rid of these broken startup items.

How to remove items from startup disk automatically?

The easy way to fix these startup item issues is by using a Mac utility like CleanMyMac 3. With CleanMyMac 3, you can find and fix broken login items (startup files) in just three steps:

scan files

1) Download CleanMyMac 3 and launch it.

2) Click the Scan button at the bottom of the interface.

prepare to remove items from startup disk

3) After the scan is complete, hit Clean. This will clean your system of various types of needless files, including broken login items.

delete files from startup disk

Alternatively, you can proceed to the System Junk module, open Review Details using the same-named button. There, check only Broken Login Items to remove them exclusively on clicking the Clean button.

Download CleanMyMac 3 to Remove Startup Items From Your Mac!

Download it for free

How to clean up startup items manually?

Go to System Preferences (using the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen), then select Users & Groups. Using the list on the left find your account and select it. Then proceed to Login Items. Here you can manage this list and add or remove login items however you want.

If speaking of files, first go to the system folder /Library/StartUpItems. Here you’ll find all the startup files that are being launched with the system. You can delete the login item you think is necessary if you’re totally sure what you are doing.

Also, the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder contains a bunch of preference files that define how the application that is being launched along with the system should work. You might want to delete some of these files as well if you know you don’t need them and removing them is safe.

The /Library/LaunchAgents contains preference files responsible for the apps that launch during the login process (not the startup).

The above-mentioned folders contain app-related files. However, you can also check system folders to review whether you need some of the system applications to be running on startup:

app-related files

1) /System/Library/LaunchDaemons - note that besides preference files this folder contains other important system items that are recommended to keep untouched.

2) /System/Library/LaunchAgents - most probably, you won’t also find anything worth removing in this folder, however, keeping this location in mind might help you find files related to a problematic app that causes troubles on Mac startup.

Similar to the the System LaunchAgents there probably won’t be anything in this folder worth checking out, however, if you have a problematic application that messes about on login, you can try to trace it back from this folder.

But, if you’re looking for simple ways to remove login items, we suggest using a Mac utility like CleanMyMac 3. Download it now and make broken login items a thing of the past — right now!

CleanMyMac 3
How to clean and optimize your Mac?
That's easy. With CleanMyMac 3.
Download Free