I know that if I boot my Mac while holding down Shift, then it does "safe mode" which causes it to boot without either login items or extensions. I often want to boot the computer and not load login items but still load the extensions!

Any keyboard shortcut whiz know what keys would have that effect at boot?


Disable automatic login in system preferences - users and groups - login options.


At the login window type your password and then immediately hold down shift.

This will disable login items on a per login basis.

With proper timing this can be accomplished even with automatic login enabled. You must hold shift as soon as the spinning gear stops.

If you are talking about Lion Resume, that's another story.

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  • since you're talking about the same "shift" key -- can you confirm, your method allows the "extensions" but locks out the "login items"? (seems that way, but wanted to confirm. Thanks!!) – estephan500 Jun 9 '12 at 10:41
  • Actually, of course, I went and tried to confirm it myself (it was silly of me to ask you to confirm it.) When I did as you said, and hit shift RIGHT after I typed my password+enter, and waited, it seems good. Didn't load the startup items. But I realize that I can't even remember how to confirm if "extensions" were not loaded. Now that I'm actually thinking of it, I haven't seen "extensions" for a long time, before OS X in fact! Do extensions still EXIST? Perhaps my whole question above is silly since my computer is OS X Lion and extensions are a thing of the past? – estephan500 Jun 9 '12 at 11:26

For Mountain Lion

If the startup volume is not encrypted with Core Storage (typically FileVault 2):

If the startup volume is encrypted with Core Storage:

  1. hear the startup chime
  2. at EfiLoginUI: type, but do not enter, a passphrase for the disk or for a user
  3. Shift-Return and do not release Shift until loginwindow presents a user, or list of users
  4. for a selected user: type, but do not enter, the password
  5. Shift-Return and do not release Shift until after login is complete.
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