I have quite a few apps (Glui, Wunderlist, Cobook) that startup at login (which I do not want them to). I do not have them among the user's login items and when I created a new test user, these apps do not start.

I also checked in LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons (both system and User) and can't find these items there.

Where else can I look? I tried removing all the com.apple.loginwindow.* items from ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost and still these items start at login.

2 Answers 2


The following list might help you to disable some program at startup :

  1. Those in System Preferences » Accounts » Login Items (actually, these include the ones from 1.)
  2. The login hook for loginwindow described here, read current value with defaults read com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook
  3. Some of those specified as part of a launchd script (or otherwise managed by launchd). List all with sudo launchctl list. See man launchctl for details.

Regarding the launchd lists, you can see their definition files in the LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons subdirectories of your system's Library directories:

  • /System/Library (you probably shouldn't touch these)
  • /Library/ (usually for all users)
  • /Users/yourname/Library (your own programs)

In the latter two libraries, check for anything suspicious. It's usually XML, so you can open and read them.

  • Thanks for the tips, I already checked all these locations and can't find anything! Any other tips?
    – fnurl
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 13:37
  • 1
    @fnurl could you tell us which programs are starting ? It might help Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 13:39
  • I can't find Spotify in any of these locations even though it's still starting automatically somehow...there must be additional locations that control startup programs?
    – Andy
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 20:52
  • Since the answer is 9 years old, probably. But I don't have them... Good luck @Andy Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 8:08

These apps could also be starting simply because they were the last items running when your account logged out, if you have the "reopen applications upon login" option checked.

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This setting use a combination of saved application state in ~/Library and the status of launched applications from the launchctl daemon to re-start apps that were launched the previous session.

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