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Mac 101: Launch at startup, the Login Items tab

Mat Lu

Everybody has programs that are pretty much always open (Mail, iTunes, Quicksilver, etc.), so it's good to have them launch automatically at startup. There are a couple of different ways to do this. If the program is already running you can hold down your (left) mouse button on its Dock icon and choose "Open at Login" from the pop up menu. However, the best way to manage these is in "Login Items" tab of the Accounts Preference Pane in your System Preferences. Here you can manually add login items. In fact, in addition to adding login items (just by clicking the plus sign), you can also remove anything you don't want (with the minus). It's useful to scan the list periodically and remove anything you don't commonly use (sometimes developers, e.g. Adobe, will put things in there without asking). Removing these unused items can free up system resources for more useful things. But be careful that you do not remove anything important (basically if you don't know what it is, don't remove it). In addition to adding applications to the login items tab, you can also add Volumes to mount on login, including network mounts. Just mount the network drive first in the Finder, then after hitting the plus sign select it and it will be placed on the list, as you can see for my WebDAV mount above.

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