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How to Turn Off Startup Programs on Your Mac (OS X)

You might not even realize it, but when you first log onto your PC, dozens of programs and services are starting that you most likely don't need. Some rear their ugly heads in the system tray (that little collection of icons next to the clock in Windows), but others run quietly in the background with you none the wiser.

Now, don't get scared, these instructions will take you to corners of your operating system (OS) you may not have seen before, but follow our instructions below and you should notice slightly quicker performance and, potentially, much faster boot times.

  • You can control what applications start with OS X by going to System Preferences, Accounts, and opening LoginItems.
  • Here, turn off any application that you absolutely don't need the moment you turn on your computer, like iChat and Skype.
  • Remove any widgets from Dashboard that you don't use, or remove them all and disable Dashboard entirely.
  • To disable Dashboard open the Terminal by going to Applications, then Utilities.
  • Enter the following, 'defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES' hit enter.
  • Then type, 'killall Dock' and hit enter to restart Dock without Dashboard enabled.
  • Dashboard can also be disabled with a free application called TinkerTool.
  • You can turn off unused networking services by opening Sharing, under System Preferences.
  • Make sure any services you don't need are unchecked: Windows Sharing, FTP Access, Apple Remote Desktop. As a bonus, this will also make your Mac safer.

Tags: advice, mac, osx, techtip, techtips