How To Stop Apps From Opening Automatically (Windows and Mac)

Mac with applications tab open

Regardless of whether you are running Windows or Mac on your computer, one of the things that can be a pain point is that some apps or programs automatically open the moment you boot up or start up your computer. This happens regardless of whether or not you actually want to use these apps. So, how do you stop apps from opening automatically when you start your computer up?

On Windows, go to Settings –> Apps and Startup to disable the apps that you don’t want to run automatically on startup. You can also do the same on the Task Manager. For Mac users, go to System Preferences –> Users & Groups –> Login items and select the apps you don’t want to open at startup.

Everyone will agree that apps that open automatically are kind of annoying especially when you know for a fact that you are not going to use them the moment you turn your computer on. And the worst part is that they can even slow down the entire startup process. Therefore, it is important that you only allow the apps that are important to you to open the moment you start up your computer.

Why are my apps opening automatically on startup?

One of the most common problems that any computer user will tell you is that there are some apps that actually open automatically the moment the computer starts up. This is quite common among different people especially if they don’t know how to control their startup apps. But why in the world does this even happen at all?

There are plenty of different reasons why apps will open automatically when you boot your computer up. And this usually happens when you don’t properly monitor the apps that you install on your computer.

The most common reason why some apps open automatically is that you either purposely or accidentally allowed them to do so when you installed them. This happens to a lot of people as they may end up carelessly just clicking on “Next” when installing apps without even checking or reading anything on the screen. Of course, some people actually do this on purpose especially if the app they are installing is important to them.

So, when you are installing apps, there are some apps that will give you the option to allow it to automatically open when you start your computer up. This usually happens at the end of the installation process where there will be a checkbox that will say “automatically open program on startup”. In most cases, people miss this part because of how they usually like to press “Next” during the app’s installation process without even considering that they actually allowed the app to open automatically.

Another reason why apps open automatically on startup without you knowing is that these are the apps that come from your computer’s manufacturer. So, if you bought a desktop or a laptop from a specific manufacturer, the most likely cause is that the computer comes pre-loaded with installed apps from the manufacturer. For example, an HP laptop will come with pre-installed HP apps. These apps are often called bloatware because they are not necessary for the computer to function but they take up a ton of space in your storage drive.

So, in most cases, certain bloatware will automatically open during your computer’s startup, and that can be problematic because you never intended them to do so in the first place. It was just that they were designed by their manufacturer to automatically open without even consulting you. This is why it might be necessary for you to uninstall bloatware when you purchase an OEM desktop or laptop.

Lastly, the reason why certain apps may open automatically can be attributed to malware that infected your computer. If you are not careful enough while browsing the internet while downloading files, you may end up getting infected by malware or adware. These malware and adware can take over the system and even install apps and programs without your consent. In most cases, the malware and adware will automatically open during the computer’s bootup process.

With all that said, there is no denying that some apps are necessary during the startup process (especially antivirus software) but there are simply apps that shouldn’t even be opening automatically because you won’t be using them anytime soon. And the worst part is that these apps will slow down the computer because they will take up valuable RAM space when they open.

As such, it is important that you know how to disable these apps from opening automatically the moment you start your computer up.

How to stop apps from opening automatically on Windows

If you are running a Windows computer, here is how you can stop apps from opening automatically:


On your Windows computer, you can go to the Settings option that can be found on your Start menu. Simply go to Settings and then look for Apps. Within the Apps option, look for the Startup menu on the side of the window so that you can see the apps that will open automatically on startup.

When you are already on the Startup window, you will see apps that can automatically run on startup. Beside them is a switch that can be toggled on or off. Turning them on means that they will open automatically. Logically, turning them off means that they won’t automatically open when you start your computer.

The good news here is that you will be able to know how impactful the app is for your computer because an indicator will be shown under the on/off button. This indicator will tell you whether or not the app has No impact, Low impact, Medium impact, or High impact when you turn them off on startup. The higher the impact, the slower the computer will start up because it will take a longer time to load these apps.

As such, it is best to look for apps that have a high or medium rating because these are the best at speeding your computer up when you turn them off. Meanwhile, those with no impact will have little to no effect on your computer when you start it up but you can still turn them off if you want to free up valuable RAM.

Task Manager

You can also use your task manager to manage the apps you want to automatically start or open when you boot up your computer. The first thing you need to do is to press CTLR + ALT + DEL to open the Task Manager.

Go to the Startup tab to see a list of the programs that will automatically open when you start your computer up. The list will show you whether the app is enabled or disabled on startup while showing you its impact. Simply disable the ones that you don’t want to automatically start based on their impact or on your personal preferences.

How to stop apps from opening automatically on Mac

The good thing about Mac apps is that they are quite easy to disable on startup because of how you don’t have to go through plenty of different settings. On top of that, most Mac apps won’t automatically open on startup as long as you installed them from the App Store.

If you have the app on your Dock, you can right-click on it and go to Options. The options will show whether there is a checkmark or not on “Open at login”. If it has a checkmark, simply click on it to remove the checkmark and disable it at login.

Alternatively, you can go to System Preferences, Users & Groups, and Login items to see a list of apps that will open on login. Highlight the app you want to disable at login and then click the minus button under the list.

Recent Posts