Mac OS X Lion LogoLike any other operating system, OS X can slow down from time to time. When you are restarting your Mac, booting it up, or shutting it down, you probably notice how slow it is running than you would at any other time.

Just like in Windows, having too many applications startup when you restart, boot up or log in will reduce the performance of your Mac noticeably. The easy way to speed up your Mac’s startup process is to reduce the number of applications that startup automatically.

Find Out Which Apps Startup Automatically

It is very easy to find out which applications start automatically as your Mac is booting up and as you are logging into your account. Once you take a look at the list of applications that are automatically starting, you can shorten the list of apps that autostart, and you will see instant performance improvement.

To find out what applications are automatically starting:

  1. Click on the Apple menu, choose System Preferences, and then click on Users & Groups.
  2. Choose your account from the list of users.
  3. Click the lock to make changes.Users & Groups
  4. When you are prompted to, enter your password and click Unlock.Enter Login Credentials
  5. Click on the Login Items tab.
  6. Review the list of applications that is starting automatically.
  7. Click on an item from the list and click the minus sign to remove it from the list. You can choose multiple items and remove them at the same time by holding the Command key and clicking on each item you want to remove.Choose Item to Delete
  8. If you see items in the list that you do not recognize, take the time to Google them and find out if you want to allow them to continue starting automatically.
  9. If you see any items in the list that have a caution icon next to them, your Mac may not be able to find those items anymore, which will slow down the boot process. Remove these items from the list.
  10. When you are done removing items, Click the lock to prevent further changes, and then close the Users & Groups Preference Pane.Lock the Preference Pane

Once you are satisfied that you are only allowing necessary applications to start automatically when your Mac boots, you should reboot your Mac, and see if you have removed enough items from the startup list to improve your Mac’s boot performance. Click on the Apple menu and choose Restart.

When the dialog window appears, uncheck Reopen windows when logging back in, and then click the Restart button to disable Lion’s new Resume feature. This will ensure that your Mac is only starting up with the applications you did not remove from the Login Items list, and the items that you currently have open will not reopen.

Don't Use Resume

When you boot up, you should notice an improvement on the boot and login times. Since you’ve eliminated items that your Mac can no longer find, and items you do not need to start automatically from the list, your Mac should boot much quicker.

Remember that the Resume feature, although extremely convenient, will also make your Mac boot up more slowly. Remember to turn it off when you are rebooting to keep your reboot and login process fast.