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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 06, 2011
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    disable startup items
    How do you enable/disable startup items in OSX?

    Powermacs had extension manager where you could choose which extensions to load at startup. You could even create boot profiles and choose one depending on what you wanted to do with your computer.

    When I use my computer day to day, I have various helpful little apps that start at bootup Little snitch firewall, iStat menus, iSync etc.
    But sometimes, I need to squeeze every drop performance out of my computer, so I don't want unnecessary memory-resident programs running in the background. If you force-quit them, they just start up again.

    How are startup items defined in MacOS? Is there some kind of pref file or script?

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    What version of OS X are you running?

    If it's Leopard or Snow Leopard, open System Preferences, Accounts, highlight your user name and click on Login Items. Highlight which ones you don't want to start at login and press the small minus button at the bottom of the dialog.

    Some startup items are also located: MacIntosh HD/Library/StartupItems.

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    I have Snow Leopard.

    All of the places you mention are empty.

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    OK. Check here:

    MacIntosh HD/Library/LaunchAgents

    MacIntosh HD/Library/LaunchDaemons

    Note: in order to stop an application like iStat menus from loading on startup, you will have to uninstall it. Probably the same for iSync.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 06, 2011
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    MacIntosh HD/Library/LaunchAgents has some apple stuff in it. No memory resident apps.
    MacIntosh HD/Library/LaunchDaemons doesn't exist

    There has to be some way the app gets hooked when the OS boots.

    That means I have to start uninstalling apps to diagnose problems too. Boy Apple really took a step backwards with this one.

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timelessbeing View Post

    That means I have to start uninstalling apps to diagnose problems too. Boy Apple really took a step backwards with this one.
    No. That is not necessary at all. For some things I boot into Safe Mode Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode.

    Since Safe Mode disables some functions I might actually need for troubleshooting, most of the time when there is a problem I boot into a user account that is only used for troubleshooting. It had admin rights bot no "extras" in the account pane.

    I am not sure there is a way to create the kind of boot profiles you are talking about in OS X. I think the general idea is that most of the kinds of programs you are talking about disabling use very little in the way of system resources unless they are actively being used.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7

    djdawson's Avatar
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    Jan 29, 2010
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    Startup processes can be configured in a few places, including the LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folders mentioned previously but also in their /System/Library/ counterparts. Also, the old "StartupItems" technology is still supported, so some older software could still be using that instead. Finally, some processes are actually started not at startup but when you login, so the Login Items setting for you account is another place to look.

    Assuming something is using the newer "Launchd" startup method the preferred approach for managing these items is with the "launchctl" command in the Terminal to load and unload individual items (you'll need to run it via "sudo" if you want to actually change anything). It's not for the faint of heart, but you can do a "man launchctl" to learn more. There's also a GUI app called "Lingon" you can use to manage this stuff. It used to be free, but now it's only available in the App store for $5. There may be other utilities as well, so a search may be useful.

    HTH
    Dana

  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
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    That means I have to start uninstalling apps to diagnose problems too. Boy Apple really took a step backwards with this one.
    With iStat menus that's true because it "hooks" the OS during boot up and loads immediately. Also starting in Safe mode as Slydude recommended may work for some things.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Looks like Lingon does what I need. It's still not as easy to use as extension manager used to be, but better than nothing. You can still find version 2.1.1 for free.

    Safe mode turns off everything which isn't the greatest if you're trying to isolate a problem to one source.

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