Can I Reorder My Mac’s Login Items?

| MGG Answers


Kirk asks: Is it possible to prioritize or reorder my Mac’s Login Items? I have some that take longer to open than others and slow the quicker ones down. Ideally, I’d like to have the quick ones open first, then followed by the longer jobs. Can I do that?


Kirk, the simple answer is that yes, this is possible, though the user-interface for doing so is a bit wonky. Head to your System Preferences->Accounts->Login Items. Grab an item with the mouse and drag slightly to the left or right. You’ll immediately see a bar appear at the bottom of the list. As soon as you let go, that particular Login Item will drop to the bottom, effectively making it the least prioritized item in the list.

Simple, right? Well, yes… and no. A few notes:

  1. Login Items reserved for “(All Users)” will always be at the bottom of this list and anything you change will appear above them.
  2. Login Items do launch in parallel, meaning that the system does not wait for one to finish before firing off the next one. As far as we can tell, though, the order here is the order the system follows, so if you have some really quick ones at the top, they may finish launching before the busier jobs at the end of the list have time to really take over. 

So yes, all of this is possible. Whether it has any positive or negative effect for you, though, is going to be very dependent on your specific system.

This question was originally answered on

About MGG Answers:

Each week Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun provide some great troubleshooting advice to listeners of the Mac Geek Gab podcast. Here with MGG Answers we share some of those tips with the rest of the world!

Popular TMO Stories


Stephen Swift

Thanks Dave!  Did not realize you could reorder the list.  I have more items than the list-view can show, so I had to:
1. Drag the item Left, so that my mouse was outside of the list-view
2. Re-enter the list-view, drag the mouse down, near to the bottom edge of the view, let the list-view scroll.
3. Once the bar appears (for me, it’s a very thin blue line) you can release the item.

John Harlow

That only seems to work if you have the bottom of the list showing. If you want to drag something and the end of the list doesn’t show, it fails.

John Harlow

Never mind. Stephen is correct. Apparently I just wasn’t coordinated enough the first time I tried.


The free utility TinkerTool will allow you to do this with ease:

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account