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Personalize Your Mac: Add Startup Items

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 2/5/2009

If you use the same programs every day, like anti-virus software, Mail, iTunes, and/or iPhoto, add them to Startup Items and have them open automatically.

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    Add Startup Items

    I know you turn your computer and leave it on indefinitely. That’s what’s great about the Mac and maybe one of the reasons why you chose it over a PC; it just doesn’t need to be rebooted that often (especially compared to PCs). Others of you may turn your computer off every night, in the hopes of keeping down your electric bill or because company rules and standards (or your spouse) enforce such a policy.

    Whatever the case, I believe it’s a good idea to reboot your machine often, at the very least once a week, if only to reset the RAM and release any stored temporary files. It also gives you a chance to make sure you haven’t deleted anything that the startup process needs, or installed any incompatible software or hardware that will affect your Mac’s performance. You should really give your Mac a chance to regain its composure once in a while.

    So, when you do reboot, whether it’s once a week. every morning, or only after installing an update that requires it, your Mac ought to start and be ready to use, productively.

    If you have programs you need and use every day, you can improve productivity by adding startup items.  Although it will take you Mac a little bit longer to boot and load all of those programs, you will still save time in the long run by letting your Mac open the programs you use.

    To add an item to the Startup Items list:

    1.      Open System Preferences>Accounts.

    2.      Select your account.

    3.      Select Startup Items.

    4.      Click the + sign and browse to the Applications folder, then select any application you’d like to add. Repeat this step as necessary.

    5.      Click the + sign and browse to any folder or document you work with daily. Repeat this step as necessary.

    6.      Verify the items you’ve added have a check by them, and if they don’t, add one. Close the Accounts window.