Under System Preferences → Users & Groups → Current User → Login items, a list of applications is maintained that will open automatically upon login:

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I would like to share these settings across two different Macs. Where are these stored exactly in macOS filesystem?


Part of the list is stored in ~/Library/Preferences/loginwindow.plist under the LoginHook key.

Also you'll find a set of LaunchAgents stored in this folder:


Each of the files in there detail a program that is started when your user account logs in.

There's also a similar list in /Library/LaunchAgents and /System/Library/LaunchAgents that are run when any user logs in, so they're not specific to your user.

In earlier versions of macOS it was also usual to place startup items in /Library/StartupItems and /System/Library/StartupItems. But they're usually not in use anymore.

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  • As you can see in the screenshot I've posted, there's "IntelliJ IDEA" application, which I've added manually, for the current user only. I can't see that in any of the places you're describing. – syntagma Apr 5 '19 at 18:42

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