How To Stop Skype From Starting Automatically on Mac OS X

Skype LogoI have to confess I’m not a big Skype user. I live in India and the rates offered by skype for various locations are usually more than those offered by the local service providers so its much more convenient (and cheap) to just pick up the phone and call. But, I’m sure many among you, in this increasingly connected world of ours, are skype addicts .. oops, I meant fans. But, ever since I came to the US on a business trip, I’ve been using Skype more and more to speak to my wife and folks back home.

Here in the US, things are a little different. Skype offers better rates, and surprisingly better voice clarity and so it has become my preferred mode for calling anyone in the US. So, as soon as I got my new MacBook Pro, I installed Skype on it … and went to sleep. When I rebooted, skype came back up automatically. Now, I know most people have skype running on their computers all day long and prefer this behavior, but I don’t like to have programs load up automatically and so went around looking for a way to disable this behavior. Well, it turns out Skype doesn’t have an option to disable this “load on startup” behavior. So, if you’ve also tried to find this option and gave up in frustration, I’ve got two ways that you can disable skype and similar programs from loading on startup on Mac OS X. I hope you find this post informative.

Using The Skype Context Menu

One way to disable Skype from loading on startup is to right click the Skype icon in the OS X dock and then selecting (untick) the “Options->Open at Login” menu item.

Skype Right Click Context Menu

This will prevent Skype from starting up the next time you reboot.

The problem with this approach is that it only works for Skype and probably a few other applications but then you have to repeat the same process for all the applications.

If you want to control the startup behavior of all programs, a better place to do that is the StartUp Items that are defined for each user on OS X. I’ll show you how.

Disable Programs From The StartUp Items List

Open System Preferences and click on Accounts. This will take you to the user accounts management screen. Select your username from the list on the left hand side and click on the “Login Items” tab.

Login Items

Now, you can just uncheck those applications that you don’t want starting up automatically. The advantage of using this approach is that it’ll work for all applications and you can stop multiple applications from running at startup at the same time.

Did you find this tip useful ? Would you like to read about more such Mac OS X Tips ?