How to get apps to launch at system startup on Mac

Do you have certain apps that you always open as soon as you restart or log in to your Mac? If so, it might be a good idea to make those apps auto-start upon logging in to your Mac. This brief tutorial shows you how to set apps to open automatically when you switch on your computer.

MacBook on table with an app open

Why would you want to automatically launch apps when starting your Mac?

When I boot my Mac, I launch the same apps every morning – Safari, Mail, Slack, and Messages. Over the course of a year, this probably amounts to several minutes just spent launching the same apps every single day. To ease things, you can automate this.

By setting your Mac to launch your most used applications automatically, you’re just saving time. That is the main benefit.


How to set applications to automatically launch at boot up

To make an app launch automatically on your Mac, simply do the following:

1) Click  > System Preferences and click Users & Groups.

2) Click Login Items. At the bottom left corner of the window, click on the lock icon and enter your admin password.

3) Click the plus (+) sign > Applications and choose the app you wish to auto-start. You can select multiple items by holding down the command key while selecting each item.

4) Once your desired items are selected, click Add.

Open apps automatically on Mac

Verify the presence of the apps that you just added to the list, and restart your Mac. After Mac restarts, you will see that the apps you added launch automatically.

If you’d like to stop an app from automatically starting, follow steps 1 and 2. After that, highlight the app you wish to remove and click the minus (-) button.

If you’d like an app to startup in hidden mode, then check the Hide box next to the app’s name under the Login Items tab.

Another way to open apps on startup is to right-click on the app in Mac’s Dock and choose Options > Open at Login.

Open at Login from Mac's Dock

Finally, after you open some apps for the first time after installation, they show you the checkbox or ask your permission to open on startup. Check that, and it’ll be added to the list of apps that open automatically.

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