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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Startup Apps: How Many Are Too Many?

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Member Since: Apr 04, 2012
Posts: 2
khlsq is on a distinguished road

khlsq is offline
I've had my Macbook Pro for about six months now. It has 4GB 1333Mhz DDR3 Memory & of 499.25GB disk space, I have 412.66GB free.

I don't have a lot on my Mac yet... but I have been sitting down a lot recently with the express aim of making my Mac work for me. I was a very reluctant switch from Windows - although I do keep trying to remember that it will pay for itself in 3 years when I'm not looking for a new one - and so an average day goes like this: open iTunes, download recent podcasts. Play The Sims 3. Edit a couple articles in Pages. Browse the internet. Log off.

To me this is entirely unacceptable. So I started reading AppStorm and MacStories and other websites with app reviews, and I'm starting to amass a collection that work for me, however, many of these are apps I want to run on start up. Whether I interact with them in a hands-on manner or they sit in the background doing things to help me be more productive in the course of a day all of them are pretty handy. Here's my list:
  1. Growl
  2. ClipMenu
  3. Twitter
  4. something I forget the name of that lets me check my gMail without opening a browser
  5. Hazel (I was a skeptic but I've got to say this one is wonderful!)
  6. Alfred (Love this one too. Very rarely use my dock so hid it on the right side where it is less obtrusive for me)
  7. Some world-clock type app
  8. Unplugged lets me know when my laptop is unplugged which I know sounds stupid but when I'm working I don't pay much attention and my computer was constantly dying because I didn't notice it was unplugged...oops.

Is that too many apps to run on start up? My system doesn't seem to be any slower and startup seems to be going smoothly. That said I'm tech savvy with software but not so much with hardware so I don't want to accidentally cause myself problems.

By the way, I never have my Mac reopen the windows I had open when I restart if that makes a difference. I'm still very much in a Windows frame of mind on this one... I always shut all windows and exit all programs (except the ones running in the background - the startup apps) before shutting down anyway.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
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Deckyon's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 06, 2011
Location: Louisville, KY - USA
Posts: 1,288
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Mac Specs: MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM

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It comes down to personal preference.

Me, I don't want ANY app loading on start-up outside of DropBox (where my documents live). As I am on my MBP, I will open different apps as I need them, and close them when complete. On my MacMini (my media center) I only have Splashtop and iTunes opening at start-up. I will say this, I find myself just closing the lid on my MBP more often than not - just letting it sleep.

You should really upgrade to 8GB of RAM, you will notice a difference immediately.

MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Gen3 32GB WiFi, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2
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Member Since: Apr 04, 2012
Posts: 2
khlsq is on a distinguished road

khlsq is offline
When I first started with my Mac I really didn't want to have any apps opening on start up. But some-like World Clock which Mac should come equipped with, IMO, just make sense. And left to my own devices I'd probably forget to start Alfred, Unplugged & Hazel... and then wonder why nothing's working...or better yet why my laptop just died in the middle of something. The rest I may decide that I can trust myself to remember. I do let mine sleep quite a bit but if I think it will be more than 24 hours before I log in again I shut it down (these times are also when I'm most likely to perform updates...) I guess I'm a new fan of start up apps because I'm secretly a very lazy person at heart.

About upgrading RAM, it's definitely on my wishlist... hopefully sooner rather than later. Knock on wood I don't notice any sluggishness with major things... A bit of sluggishness with TS3 is to be expected. The running joke is that the folks at EA are trying to make a game so large and resource intensive instead of selling discs they'll soon be selling laptops that boot TS3 on start up. I really don't doubt it.
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Member Since: Jan 13, 2007
Location: Central New York
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I have a decent list of things loading on start up. I've found that when restarting, make sure Resume Apps is not checked as it will take much longer to finish starting. More RAM will also help.

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Currently running OS X 10.9
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