The operation of Autostarter is as easy as possible. It follows the design of the feature Login Items in System Settings of macOS. If you have created login items in System Settings previously, the following procedure will be recommended:
An App from the App Store must never “see” your personal login items. For this reason, you’ll have to migrate the old entries yourself.
Applications that should be immediately available when you log in to your user account can be launched automatically by Autostarter. You can choose whether each application should show its windows, or whether it should run hidden in the background for the moment. The latter is particularly useful if you have programs that are mainly used without windows, e.g. applications for the menu bar or for the display of information in the Dock. An example would be the feature Show CPU usage as Dock icon in Apple’s utility Activity Monitor.
You can choose applications which should automatically launch when logging in:
When using this feature for the very first time, both Autostarter and macOS will show a notice that a part of Autostarter needs to be automatically started as well. Without this function, it would not be possible to control the launch of other applications. You have to confirm once that you allow this. After that, System Settings will show an entry for Autostarter in the overview Allow in the Background of System Settings.
Please also note the following:
If you previously had entries for login items in System Settings and you have replaced them now by entries in Autostarter, you should remove the respective items in System Settings. Click the button Open Login Items in System Settings to be directed to that location.
Apple requires that you confirm this manually. An App from the App Store must not remove the entries in System Settings automatically.
You can remove entries from the table any time:
As mentioned above, Autostarter utilizes an invisible helper tool in order to control the start of other applications. Although this program is only active for a few seconds after logging in to macOS and it quits itself immediately after that, Apple declares it as being a Background Item. You find a corresponding Autostarter entry in System Settings at General > Login Items > Allow in the Background.
If you inadvertently disable this entry, Autostarter won’t work any longer. The application will detect this issue the next time it is started. It shows an error message and the table of autostart applications becomes invisible.
Depending on situation, Autostarter may have permission to repair this problem itself. Just click the button Repair which is shown in that particular case.
If automatic repair is blocked by macOS, click the button Open Login Items in System Settings and reset the switch at Allow in the Background > Autostarter to the position on. Then, click on the Update button in Autostarter to make the automatic launch work again.
The management of Background Items is very immature in some versions of macOS. System Settings may completely lose your acknowledgement setting when you rename Autostarter or move it to a different folder. In this case, all data shown by System Settings about Autostarter can be wrong, i.e. macOS may have withdrawn the permission for Autostarter to launch other applications, but indicates the opposite. Autostarter will try to detect and repair such a situation the next time you launch it manually.
The repair procedure mentioned in the previous paragraph may fail if not only System Settings is receiving wrong information, but macOS additionally sends incorrect data to Autostarter. In this case, Autostarter no longer has permission to work correctly. To repair the affected user account settings for Background Items after macOS has damaged them, perform the following steps: