How to Automatically Launch Apps When Your Mac Starts

This guide will explain how to configure macOS to automatically launch one or more Apps each time your Mac starts up.

Many macOS programs include a “start at login” feature somewhere in their preferences, and typically it’s pretty easy to locate. When available, use this method to have Apps automatically launch with your Mac.

an App Preferences panel with an arrow pointing at the start at login option

For those Apps that don’t include a built in feature for auto-starting, follow the instructions outlined below.

  1. Open the App you’d like to have start up automatically each time your Mac boots up. Hold down the control key on your keyboard and then click the App icon in the Dock. Select Options from the menu and then Open at Login from the list of options.
  2. Mac Apps in the Dock set to automatically launch

  3. You can also have a program launch at boot but have it kept “hidden” (minimized to your Dock). To do this, select the Apple button from your menu bar and then choose System Preferences… from the list. Next, click the Users & Groups icon.
  4. the Users and Groups item in the macOS System Preferences

  5. Select your account from the left column of the left side of the panel, and then choose Login Items from the top menu. Scroll down to the program you want to open hidden, and place a check in the box labeled Hide.
  6. list of Apps set to launch automatically with your Mac in hidden mode

  7. That’s it! If you decide you don’t want a program to start up automatically, repeat step #1 and remove the check-mark next to the Open at Login option.

Did you know you can also have a network hard drive automatically mounted each time your Mac starts?

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