Order Out Of Chaos

Does anyone know how to order lists, say alphabetically, similar to the ability in the View Menu of System Preferences in the lists found in:

  1. User&Groups LogIn Items- set which Items you wish to log in first (like the old days)
  2. Full Disk Access list in Security & Privacy > Privacy > Full Disk Access.
  3. Plus it would be great to have those items use their whole name or at least some identifier rather than something like “bdagentd” or ‘bash’ or ‘sh’ or 'keygenwrapper" etc.
    Thank you. Patrick

It has never been possible and I doubt Apple has ever considered doing so. You’ll need to recommend it as an enhancement at


Thank you, Al. I must have been dreaming about it but I promise there was a way to set log-in items in a certain order. Probably late 80’s or early 90’s. Nevertheless, I’ll send a note to Apple. At least I’ve ‘thrown it out’ there so if anybody can find a way, maybe they’ll respond. Best, Patrick

Done: Sent to Apple. Thank you. Best, Patrick

A number of years ago, when I was active on Apple Discussions, a topic came up regularly: a user would want to control the order in which Login Items launched. The answer then—and I doubt that it has changed—was that the order is insignificant. The items are not launched one at a time. An item appears ready when all the necessary resources for it are available. That order might even change from day-to-day.

I know in System 10.5.8, you can change the order as I still have that system running mainly for iTunes listening as well as some old apps I sometimes use. The order does not change as it does on newer OS. Now, whether the first one actually loads first is unknown but you are able to move the login items in the order you want.

One can always write an AppleScript that starts apps in any order that you want.

That’s what I’ve done so that I can start certain playlists for iTunes after booting up or have LaunchPad come up automatically on my computer hooked to a tv.

However, the issue was whether you could change the order of the items and I stated what I know to be true on an older OS. Not everyone is comfortable with Applescript or Automator which is fairly easy by comparison.

Yes, you could definitely reorder those in older versions of the OS. However, I guess enough people thought that they were specifying the order the items were actually started (which it probably was, but being they were started in a tight loop one after the other and the startup time of each could vary significantly, there was no way to guarantee that they’d be ready in that order), that Apple removed that ability.

However Apple missed (or didn’t consider important) another reason for reordering them–finding one in the list. Unfortunately Apple seems quite willing to force users to do linear searches when allowing some sort of sorting would allow a better search algorithm to be used (and to be fair, lots of UX designers make this mistake).

For a number of years now, I’ve been using a utility called Startupizer2 to control login items.


It allows you to not only control the order login items launch, but also control which ones launch based on a variety of criteria (such as whether an Internet connection is present), and it can be set to pause launching additional items until a particular item has finished launching. Really really useful, especially for troubleshooting a login item issue.

Unfortunately, the developer stopped selling licenses and ceased maintenance of it in 2019. You can still download it from their site, though. It still works in Catalina, but I have no idea if it works on any later versions of macOS.

Well, that answers my question. No one knows how OR if it is possible. Thank you to all that responded. I looked at Startupizer but the web page was in a foreign language and the app maintenance has ceased. Think I’ll steer clear. What triggered my question to begin with was how Bartender seems to be the slowest in starting up because I can’t use my laptop till it is finished sorting out my menu. No biggie. Best, Patrick

To me, it’s quite reasonable for Bartender to start slow, as it ‘wants’ to know which processes have started menubar icons before organizing them.

1 Like