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Apple Mac OS X hints and tips

Tidy up the login items list

Some programs automatically load when you start your Mac and they run in the background. They provide services to other programs or they can add features and tools that you always want to be available and you don't want to have to start them manually each time you switch on your Mac to do some work.

Some examples of these are programs that add features to the menu bar at the top of the screen, such as Menu Meters, iStat Menus, Dropbox, Growl, and others.

You can see the programs that automatically run in the background by going to the Apple menu in the top left corner and selecting System Preferences and then Accounts. Select the Login Items tab.

At least one item will be there because Apple automatically adds iTunes Helper. Anything else you see there belongs to software you have installed yourself.

If you remove software from your Mac you may find that the entry in the Login Items list is not removed. You should check the list occasionally to make sure that all the entries are valid.

There are two ways to check that an entry is valid and the first is to see whether an item has an icon. If you no longer have the app because you have removed it, there won't be an icon. The second way is to Ctrl+click an item and then select Reveal in Finder from the menu that is displayed. If the item no longer exists then Finder won't be able to display it.

Removing an invalid item is easy. Just select it and click the minus button below the list.

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