When I reboot my MacBook Pro (11.3 now, but it's been happening for years) the reboot pauses for about a minute, after which it tells me there was a problem connecting to a certain defunct network drive. It doesn't exist and never will.

Dialog box saying "There was a problem connecting to" a network drive

The usual advice is to locate the offending entry in Login Items and remove it. I wish I could. Below you'll see a screenshot of my Login Items, with what I presume to be the offender. It cannot be selected (the checkbox is disabled) so it cannot be removed.

You can also see I'm an Admin and the padlock is unlocked. Holding shift during login didn't help at all. How can I get rid of this?

Login items showing network drive is not removable

  • If the pause is during reboot, doesn’t that mean it’s a setting in the system, not in your user config? Have you tried verbose boot, to see if it will show what the service or server is? Did you ever configure NFS or other mounts to mount automatically via a config in /etc?
    – Tim B
    Jun 11, 2021 at 10:35
  • @TimB This all happens after I've entered credentials, and after verbose boot has finished scrolling text, when the apple logo and a progress bar is showing (about 1/3 full). I'm the only user of this laptop so I only ever saw it on reboot, but if I log out and log back in again then there is nearly no pause before the dialog about there being a problem connecting pops up.
    – Nik M
    Jun 19, 2021 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


I had an entire answer prepped, then realised this has changed in recent macOSes

Since High Sierra, the entire structure has been moved into what I can only call an unfathomable file.
~/Library/Application Support/com.apple.backgroundtaskmanagementagent/backgrounditems.btm
I cannot make head or tail of it, however, if you throw it away it will clean your entire Login Items List.

I discovered this at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8086931?answerId=32423169022#32423169022

There's a utility called Knock Knock which is very good for looking at these, but it doesn't contain any mechanism for changing them other than finding the reference in Finder. It also doesn't seem to find volumes to be mounted.
There's another app, Lingon which can show the list, including volumes, but again doesn't seem to want to modify it in any way [though that could be my unfamiliarity with the app]

So, I'd go for discarding the backgrounditems.btm file [keep a copy just in case], then recreating your Login Items manually.

This is how it used to work before High Sierra, just for historical reference.

The Login Items list is store in a file in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginitems.plist This es simply a text file, so you can open it in TextEdit, or for a nicer presentation, perhaps easier to follow, something like BBEdit - free version is fine.

Just to be safe, Opt/drag a copy to the desktop, in case anything goes wrong.

Each item in there is contained between opening & closing delineators, with each separate login item between <dict> and </dict> tags, like html or many other text/xml file types.

So, in theory, you should be able to find the item in the file & delete it entirely, from the opening to the closing tag.

Like this for an example item. Note exactly where the selection is to & from, so once deleted the file doesn't break the tags at all…

enter image description here

Once deleted, save the file & reboot.

  • 1
    Thanks for your detailed comment, but unfortunately no joy. I booted into safe mode, deleted the file, and rebooted, but the mystery startup item is still there, although everything else is gone.
    – Nik M
    May 28, 2021 at 12:11

It looks like this computer was administered at some point in the past - the "Mobile" in the user name indicating that the user is server managed. If you click on "Login Options" under "Users & Groups" is there a "Network Account Server" listed? That would be another indication that the users (and in some cases the machine settings) were managed by a server.

I would create a new, local, user and then see if I received the same message logging in.

If you do not, then it is a user level preference from a server that is now unavailable. If this is the case, then the stack exchange question, "Detaching from Active Directory and keeping mobile accounts" would probably help.

If you still see the message, then it is probably a machine level preference. Here my advice would be to make sure you have a good backup and then wipe and reinstall. If you don't setup the machine to be connected to a server on the reinstall, any users you import should be local users - I think, haven't tested.

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