Starting programs when you login to your account

Today’s tutorial discusses how to specify certain programs to run when you login to your OSX account. If the first thing you do when you login everyday is check your email, why not save a step and have your email program startup automatically for you when you login.

The process is fairly straight forward. The first thing you need to do is startup the System Preferences application. It’s located either in your Dock or on the Apple menu under System Preferences. When the application opens, double click on the Accounts icon to open up the account preferences. After Accounts opens, select the button labeled Login Items.

Select Login Items will present you with a list (possibly empty) and the ability to add or remove programs to this list. To add a program, click the plus (+) button. This will open a Finder file browser. In the Finder Window, under Places select Applications. Then, navigate to the program you wish to run at login. In this example, I want to run Last.FM.

Select your program, click the Add button and the window will close. You should now see the program in the list of login items. Continue to do this until you’ve added all the programs you like to the list.

You can also easily remove items from the list. Click the item and click the minus (-) button. The login item disappears.

Finally, you can also set the Dock visiblity of your login item by clicking the Hide checkbox next to each item. Selecting Hide will prevent the application from displaying an icon on the Dock.

When you are finished with your Login Items, close the Accounts Dialog.

About Joe Cotellese

Joe is the founder of Learning OS X. He's often spending way too much time playing with new Mac software in order to improve his ability at "Getting Things Done."

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