My Login Items


Yesterday I posted a (apparently well known to everyone but me) tip about quickly adding items to your Login process. There was a comment asking about what I could possibly have with 12+ items starting at Login. So I figured I’d answer that here today.

login items

When I went back to look through the items in the list, I found that about half are actual apps that I want running when I start up my system. These are things that I’d otherwise have to go through and start on my own, but am really just too lazy to be bothered with – so I let OS X do it for me. The other half are services or listeners that run in the background and assist other apps that I may (or may not) use in the course of a day on my MacBook. They’re the really good things to have running upon Login, as they’ll assist these other programs when they’re called upon, and which may not run as efficiently or properly otherwise.

So here’s what I’ve got running every time I log onto my system.

  • Google Notifier – App – Checks my Gmail and Gcal accounts
  • Growl Helper – Helper – runs in the background to assist Growl for Notifications
  • Quicksilver – App – I’d die without it
  • Slim Battery Monitor – App – Takes less space than the standard Battery Indicator
  • Snapz Pro X – App – Takes the best screenshots of any app out there
  • iTunes Helper – Helper – Allows for multiple apps to access iTunes
  • Virtue Desktops – App – Virtual Desktop Manager
  • TextExpander daemon – Helper – Waits for keystrokes it can match and expand
  • Rogue Amoeba Schedule Helper – Helper – So I can schedule Audio Hijack when needed
  • iCal Alarm Scheduler – Helper – Allows iCal to pop up alarms without it being open
  • USB Overdrive Helper – Helper – Assists USB Overdrive in allowing my MX1000 to do tons of crazy stuff
  • Default Folder X Background – Helper – Waits for a save dialog to give me more flexibility come save time
  • Missing Sync Monitor – Helper – Syncs my Blackjack with my MacBook
  • Geektool – App – Runs scripts/displays files & pictures on my desktop
  • Overflow – App – Multiple application launcher. Basically could take over part of this list for me…Hmm, May have to try that for a bit.

Despite the rather lengthy list of items that launch at Login, my MacBook still comes up to a usable state in very short order. Yet I may have to create a nice Overflow collection of apps that would allow me to remove many of the above apps from the Login procedure. I’ll have to see how much faster that makes my Login.

EDIT: I just finally got around to skimming through Adam Pash’s terrific Switcher’s Guide for OS X. Funny how similar his Login items are to mine. I’d say many of these items are fairly universal for Mac users – or should be if they aren’t already.



“USB Overdrive Helper – Helper – Assists USB Overdrive in allowing my MX1000 to do tons of crazy stuff”

I have the same mouse and was wondering what extra features you get over the Logitech driver?

Nick Santilli

Glad to be of help Don. There’s always someone new, or someone who doesn’t know all the tricks yet (I’ve been on a mac for 4 years and just stumbled on that one). So I guess it never hurts to put them up there eh?


Don Parr

Nick, I just wanted to Thank You for taking the time to post the “tip about quickly adding items to your Login process.” There are constantly new people coming to the Apple / Mac platform that, I’m sure, are more than grateful for your efforts as well as the information, to include myself. So, Thanks Nick!

Nick Santilli

Peter –
I’m not a big Overflow user. I got it for free from from MyDreamApp – or one of the recent Mac Software Marketing things. Anyway, I’ve been playing with it and not much more. The nice thing is if I’m going to be doing web work, I’ve got the 3 or 4 apps I generally use for that, which can all be launched at once. It’s kinda nice. But other than that it’s a one trick pony. Quicksilver rules all of course. :)

Dave M.

Peter: Less typing. :)

My list has way more items in it I’m embarrassed to say. Here is my list:
Google Notifier
Net Monitor
System Events
Rogue Amoeba Schedule Helper
Snapz Pro X
Keyboard Maestro Engine
MenuCalendarClock iCal

I know, I have OverFlow and DragThing. I haven’t had a chance to merge the items from OverFlow into DragThing. I use DragThing as a Dock replacement and hide the Dock under the Menubar using Mac Pilot.

I’m glad I listed my login items. I removed about 5 “unknowns” and 5 more that were either duplicates or items I’m not using or demo’s that have run out of time.

Phil Bowell

I seem to have a lot of things in my Login items as well. I seem to have 2 GrowlHelperApp’s one is unknown with a blank icon, guess I can remove that one.

Is it safe to remove things like Helpers?

What do people recomend to have in their Login’s? My iMac CoreDuo seems to take a while before I can use it due to all the stuff I have in their coming a live.

ziv kitaro

While it is great to add things to the login and not bother running them by hand.
I find that putting many things in the login gets my macbook pro start to slow.

Why not use automator to create a start-workflow that you run after you login?

This way the startup runs swiftly and you runs all your apps in one click

Julian Bennett Holmes

I used to have a ton of login items. At the time, I believed that having all these items would only slow down my login. However, I realized that having all these things slow down overall performance, too. So I narrowed down my list to these four:

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