How to Stop Mac from Reopening Apps After Reboot

How To Stop Reopening Apps on Mac
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Many Mac users experience a common issue: unwanted applications automatically launching at startup. This can slow down the system and affect its performance. Thankfully, there are several ways to manage these startup programs and prevent them from running automatically. This guide will walk you through the process of stopping your Mac from reopening apps after a reboot.

Managing Startup Programs

Startup programs, also known as login items, are applications that open automatically when you start or log in to your Mac. While they can be convenient, too many startup programs can consume memory and degrade performance. Here are some steps to manage these startup programs:

  1. Using System Preferences:
    • Click the Apple menu and select ‘System Preferences’.
    • Choose ‘Users & Groups’.
    • Click the ‘Login Items’ tab.
    • Select the program you want to stop and click the minus button.
  2. Using the Dock:
    • Right-click on the app in the dock.
    • Select ‘Options’ and then ‘Open at Login’ to uncheck it.

Preventing Apps from Reopening Windows

Another aspect of startup management is preventing apps from reopening the windows that were open when you last quit the app. To control this behavior:

  1. Deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in” in the confirmation dialog that appears when you log out or restart your Mac.
  2. In System Preferences, choose ‘Desktop & Dock’ and turn on “Close windows when quitting an app”.

Advanced Startup Management

For more advanced control over startup programs, especially those not listed in the Login Items, you can delve into the Library folder to manage Launch Daemons and Launch Agents:

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  1. Use Finder to navigate to /Library/LaunchDaemons, ~/Library/LaunchDaemons, /Library/LaunchAgents, or ~/Library/LaunchAgents.
  2. Delete or zip the processes you do not wish to auto-launch.

Community Discussions and Experiences

Many Mac users share their experiences on forums like Reddit and Apple Support Communities regarding managing startup applications. Common issues include unexpected apps launching at startup and difficulties in finding settings to disable these features. One Reddit user, for example, found that their Mac launched recent programs like Safari and Photoshop despite these not being listed in the Login Items.
For more insights from the community, visit this Reddit discussion.


Regularly managing your startup items is essential for maintaining your Mac’s efficiency. It’s about balancing convenience with performance, ensuring that only necessary applications run at startup. By following the steps outlined above, you can effectively control which apps launch automatically, thereby enhancing your Mac’s performance and startup speed.


Q: How can I stop apps from launching automatically when I start my Mac?

A: To stop apps from launching automatically, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. Here, you can see a list of apps that open at startup and remove them by selecting and clicking the minus button.

Q: Can I control which apps reopen windows after a reboot on my Mac?

A: Yes, deselect the option “Reopen windows when logging back in” in the confirmation dialog when logging out or restarting your Mac. You can also adjust settings in System Preferences under ‘Desktop & Dock’ or ‘General’ to control this behavior.

Q: What if an app is not listed in the Login Items but still starts automatically?

A: If an app is not listed in Login Items, it might be in LaunchDaemons or LaunchAgents within the Library folder. You can navigate to these folders using Finder and remove or disable the specific startup files.

Q: Are there any tools to help manage Mac startup programs?

A: Yes, tools like BuhoCleaner and CleanMyMac X can help manage startup programs. They allow you to easily disable or remove unwanted apps and services that automatically launch at startup.

Q: Can adding or removing startup programs affect my Mac’s performance?

A: Yes, managing startup programs can significantly affect your Mac’s performance. Removing unnecessary startup apps can free up memory and reduce load times, thereby enhancing overall performance.

Q: How do I add a program to my Mac’s startup items?

A: To add a program to your startup items, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items, and click the plus button. Select an app from the available options and click Add.

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11 months ago

Clearly this article understands the problem, and the list of common reasons to not want MacOS to reopen apps automatically are all accurate.

However, this article lacks a solution to the problem it has identified. None of the presented options will prevent MacOS from reopening apps after a crash or forced reboot (such as after installing a MacOS update).

This is my #1 complaint with MacOS. Automatically reopening apps after a crash or forced reboot should be a toggleable option.

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