OS X: Speed Up Logging In

| TMO Quick Tip

If your Mac is slow to start up—especially when it’s trying to log you in—there are a few reasons why that could be so. One of the most common is that you’ve forgotten to uncheck “Reopen windows when logging back in” on the Restart or Shut Down dialog box:

Leaving that checkbox on means that your Mac will reopen everything that was already running, which can lead to some pretty slow startup times if your machine isn’t a powerhouse. Or even if it is, if what it’s trying to reopen is the entirety of the Creative Suite. No offense, Adobe.

Another reason why your Mac could be slow to start is a plethora of what are called Login Items. These are listed in System Preferences> Users & Groups (or System Preferences> Accounts, depending on what version of OS X you’re running) under the “Login Items” tab.

Login Items are documents, applications, or servers that your Mac is set to open automatically when you log in to your account. That’s all well and good for stuff like Dropbox that you probably want to always have open, but the problem is that most Mac users never check that list to see if there’s anything old or unwanted there. So if you see things that you’d rather not have pop open at login, just select one and click on the minus button to remove it.

Be careful, though—if you don’t know what a Login Item is, it’s best to do your research and figure that out before removing it. For example, in my second screenshot above, I see something called “SpeechSynthesisServer”—what the heck is that? A quick Google search reveals that it’s used by my system, so I shouldn’t get rid of it. And another thing that you can do in your sleuthing is check out where a specific Login Item lives in your file system. To do so, right- or Control-click on it, and that’ll reveal a “Show in Finder” pop-up.

If you click that, you’ll see where it resides on your Mac, which is a good way to determine what it’s doing and why. 

Oh, look, SpeechSynthesisServer is within my System> Library folder…all the more reason to not mess with it!

In any case, removing those unused or out-of-date Login Items can speed up your logging-in process considerably, so perhaps you won’t have to see the dreaded spinning beach ball of death while your Mac attempts to open every program in the known universe. We love you, Photoshop, but don’t open up when we don’t need you, OK? Deal.

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Tom Patrick

Hi Holt, the first tips really helped me & I didn’t knew it earlier. For my Mac OS X I use to check if my disk size is not cluttered with junk data that OS readily creates. I am using Stellar Speedup Mac utility to remove all kinds of junk, duplicates & caches from my startup disk. The result is the disk is light, healthy and fast. May be you should try the application on your end and let me know how you felt.

Thanks!!!Looking for more info from you further.


Melissa, Melissa, Melissa,
You certainly are one of the hurry generation. Might I suggest some little tricks I do to make my day seem like two days long. I like this world and my latest incarnation and want it to last as long as possible or the next one might not be so nice. It works so well I now celebrate my birthday twice a year. April 8 and October 8 and I shall reach one hundred in half the time. Sadly the Queen will not be round to send me her best wishes on my hundredth and I doubt Charles will be either, unless he takes heed to my last post to him. (The Queen now returns my mail; I suspect her eyes are straining and she must let them rest.)

1. Drive in first gear. Why be a hurry bird to get to work—and look what longer life you are giving all the honkers.
2. Dress in every room in the house, one article of clothing at a time. Putting on two socks in a same room is cheating. Attached convenience rooms do not count so can’t be used.
3. Eat with a mouth full of marbles. Slowing down eating time is supposed to make for a longer life anyway; so bingo, double duty—oops, hadn’t thought of that oxymoron. (And not to worry, they pass as easy as jello when you mistakenly swallow one.
4. Do not take shortcuts of any kind, such as using ampersands instead of ‘and’. See how determined I am. The thought to use the ampersand sign never even crosses my mind.
5. Another example of not taking shortcuts of any kind: Mowing the lawn of course means unplugging and plugging in the lawn mower as one can only mow in one direction and must circumnavigate the house for one sweep count. The deck and fence is a bit of a bummer, but patience is certainly fostered in this little chore. Sadly, my sweetie has taken to mowing the lawn of late. It certainly isn’t because she’s been putting on weight. She doesn’t seem to notice the fact though I have kindly pointed it out, round about mowing time.
6. My grocery shopping trick I picked up from dressing. You guessed it. One item per isle. I find I have to return to the frozen treats isle lots.
7. Undressing. Nae, different from dressing. Otherwise, that would be cheating. I start at the front door, but first turn off the outside lights. It’s night-time, of course, so one must be mindful of the neighbours. Articles of clothing are removed one at a time, sort of a given, but one has to make a slow jaunt round the house to take off the next item, backwards-the walk, not the taking off of- that would be silly for how can one put one’s clothes on if they are already on. My neighbours are very polite and draw their shades before it gets dark.
8. Watching sports on the telly. Why what else but do two jobs at once, slowly, very slowly. I watch slowly and I pick things up and straighten the room, very, very slowly. When friends are coming over the mistress of both me and the house helps out but she hasn’t got the hang of s-l-o-w-l-y, yet.
9. Doing dishes. Unfortunately, my attempt to do dishes slowly has not worked out very well. I do not think I will go into detail as to why.
10. Going to sleep. I won’t go into that one but your getting smart by this point and probably have figured out that my hurry-better-half falls asleep way before I do. This one is the only one I don’t really like.

It has been fun, Melissa. Please rethink your hurried life. I should like to know you are still around when I hit one hundred.

Melissa Holt

Dearest mhikl,

That was by far the best, most entertaining thing I’ve read in months. Had I Internet Awesomeness Tokens to pass out, you’d be going home with a bunch (or with the giant stuffed bear you could trade them for).

Alas, all I can tell you is that I read your post aloud to my better half and my cat, and they both were incredibly appreciative. The cat bit me afterward, which is usually a sign that he’s happy. So you win. You win big.



Melissa, Melissa, Melissa,
How kind of you. Most just ignore my silly stories and, most sadly, my poetry. We do so live in heathen times.

Oh, but to have a cat or a dog! The joy! I’m quite allergic to cats and they do so love me too much and I just can’t push love away. My Corgi does not love me so much, even more so especially since my gal has recommended I put her on the diet. This morning she had gained a pound, in just one day, because I am such a weak fellow and I lose count when she gives me ‘The Look’ so craftily perfected since the day I brought her home, and had to lock her in the porch when we had to go to work. But I was so worried I hurried home (those days are over, remember) at lunch time, to check up on her, and found she had torn the siding apart, and when I saw it, I called her a bad, bad name, and then the telephone rang and it was my child bride asking about the ‘puppy’ (that animal was never a puppy!)–

driving away from the house I bought her from I know for sure I saw in the mirror her six siblings giving each other high-fives and her mum was slapping her hands “good riddance” style (and I think I could see through the kitchen window enthusiastic dancing going on –

(I think it was then that somewhere in the misty fields of ‘wonder’ I began to question why a Corgi could be got for so cheap)—

and whilst my back was turn the little . . . She had run away! Actually, it was ‘a determined’ walk-away for she did it again the next Saturday morning when I was doing ‘make-up’ duty, vacuuming, and she kept attacking the vacuum cleaner and I called her a bad, bad name so she did this military about turn and continued her determined walked-away, right through the open living room door, down past our car and then she made a military left turn heading for the grocery store down by the wharf where I had found her, food begging, after her last sneaky escape. I’ve had to be nice to her ever since, let her rule the vacuum cleaner, and basically march in tune to her every whim and demand.

There’s a book, a psychological book, in what I have gone through in the past ten years that should count for fifty of the hundred I am working on. And . . .
Sadie is giving me The Look, again. Lord only knows how much she’s going to weigh in the morning.

Namaste and care,
Michael (aka mhikl)

Melissa Holt

You should write novels, Michael…I would buy them. And share them with everyone I know. Seriously, you’re darn entertaining and smart, and I love it. grin


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