Every time I log into my Mac, I see the desktop/dock, then the "Setting up your Mac" screen appears over the top of the desktop. After a few seconds, previously launched applications start and can be used as usual, but the "Setting up..." screen remains and covers the desktop.

Additionally (and possibly related?), the set of application that re-opens at login appears fixed and is not affected by ticking/unticking the "reopen applications at login" box on the logout/restart confirmation popup.

This issue doesn't present itself when I start in safe mode.

Based on OSX 10.13.4 'Sets up your Mac' every login, I attempted to uninstall my anti-virus software (Eset endpoint security), but this had no impact on the issue.

I also tried creating the file /private/var/db/.AppleSetupDone as mentioned in How to stop Setup Assistant from showing up on every restart on Mac Mini with OS X Mavericks?

I'm fairly sure that some 3rd party software is causing this issue, as reinstalling OSX resolves the issue, however I'd like to find out what the real problem is.

Is there anything else I can check/try?

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to Ask Different. I guess this issue is happening since the 10.15.5 upgrade. I agree this is caused by a 3rd party system extension, since Safe Mode solves the problem. Is the antivirus completely uninstalled? Take a look at your login items (support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/…) and remove any that may be related to Eset Endpoint Security. This article: macreports.com/mac-stuck-on-setting-up-your-mac-fix recommends an SMC reset, You may want to give it a try (more info: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295).
    – jaume
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 10:34
  • 1
    Thanks for your comment, the suggestion about login items was enough to help me find the issue. Somehow, Setup Assistant had been added to my login items, which is both silly and confusing. I'm happy to accept that if you make it an answer (though the other stuff you mentioned is probably useful too for anyone who finds this) Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 15:06
  • That's great news, I'm happy my comment helped, but since you found the culprit, I'd say it's fair that you write the answer and mark it as accepted. It's totally ok with me, what do you think?
    – jaume
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 19:40
  • 1
    Sure thing, have done that and referenced your comment. Thanks for your help Commented Jun 24, 2020 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


Following jaume's comment, I checked my login items (https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/mac-a-blue-screen-startup-problems-mh21210/mac).

It turns out that Setup Assistant had ended up in there, and was impossible to quit once opened. Removing it from Login Items and rebooting solved the issue.

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