If you have some commonly used programs and applications that you would like OS X to auto launch whenever you login, there are some simple ways to customize auto start items. You don’t have to use automator, although that would probably work too. Instead, OS X offers a user account setting that has a specific purpose of setting automatic startup programs. No downloads or extra software is required.

To get started, launch System Preferences using the path Finder > Applications > System Preferences, or by clicking the Apple logo and selecting System Preferences from the context menu. With System Preferences open and active on screen, click the Users & Groups listing.

Users  Groups Mac System Preferences

The Users & Groups screen has a few options to select from. To edit startup and login items, select the Login Items tab, located near the top of the System Preferences window.

OS X Login Items

From here, you can click the + or – buttons to add or remove a specific startup item. For example, if you want Safari to launch upon login, simply click the + button and navigate to the Safari app. Click the Add button to add an application to the Login items list.

Add Login Item

The application should now appear in the Users & Groups main window, which means that it is all setup to launch each time you login to your OS X account.

Safari Login Item

You can remove an application from the Login Items list by simply clicking once to select it, and clicking the button.

Using the same process mentioned above, to add apps, you can also add different types of items also. For example, you can add a document and even a song to the Login Items list to have them auto launch.

Various Login Items OS X

That’s all there is to it. By setting Login Item preferences, you can customize your Mac OS X account for your favorite apps, documents, and other media. Users & Groups preferences are specific based on each OS X account. If you have any questions regarding setting Login Items, leave a comment and I will try to help.