On macOS 10.12.5, I only see LaunchAgents in the Users Library directory. Are the agents only invoked if a user is logged in?

  • /Library/LaunchAgents/
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons/
  • /System/Library/LaunchAgents/
  • /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
  • /User/username/Library/LaunchAgents/

Yes, LaunchAgents are only invoked when the user logs into a graphical session.

LaunchDaemons are typically launched when the system boots and are run outside of a specific user session.

The launchd manual page lists these folders with short descriptions:


  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents Per-user agents provided by the user.
  • /Library/LaunchAgents Per-user agents provided by the administrator.
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons System-wide daemons provided by the administrator.
  • /System/Library/LaunchAgents Per-user agents provided by Mac OS X.
  • /System/Library/LaunchDaemons System-wide daemons provided by Mac OS X.
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