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Why to Do It:

Some (but not all) of the extensions and control panels in your System Folder load into memory during the startup sequence. These files perform any number of (largely background) functions, such as placing a clock in your menubar or monitoring for virus infections or enabling file sharing. Apple includes many such extensions and control panels as part of its system software. Some are almost essential. Others, including many from third parties, are desirable because they greatly enhance the capabilities of a bare-bones system. Whatever the case, we call them startup extensions.

On the helpful side, icons for startup extensions typically appear along the bottom of the Mac OS screen as each startup extension loads into memory. By identifying the icons, you can get a sense of which extensions and control panels load at startup and which do not (though unfortunately not all startup extensions display these icons).


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