In macOS, under System Preferences / Users / Login Elements there is a list of Login Elements that are started at the startup.

Actually only few elements are listed here. There are many other elements that are started from LaunchAgents and LaunchDemons folders, which are not listed here.

My question is: which elements are instead listed here? I suppose macOS has a list of elements that will be listed here while most are not.

What discriminates the elements listed in System Preferences vs. all the others login elements?

The same question is for extensions: only few items are listed in System Preferences / Extensions. Where is the list of the few extensions that are here displayed versus all the other extensions that are anyway loaded but not displayed here?

1 Answer 1


The login items that you referenced are for your individual account. The other “elements” you referred to are for all users and system wide daemons/services respectively.

  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents per individual user
  • /Library/LaunchAgents for all users
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons for system wide services regardless of user (run as root)

Extensions are handled the same way, some are user only, while others are assigned to all users. You can find a list of what’s being loaded with the launchctl command.

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