Make OS X Load Your Desktop Before You Log In

If you want to step away from your computer while your desktop loads (without enabling the unsafe auto-login feature), this script will begin loading OS X before you log in.

We've shown you how to make Windows load up your desktop and startup apps before you log in, and it turns out it's even Simpler in OS X, as TUAW demonstrates. All you need to do is head to System Preferences > Accounts and click Login Options to enable Auto-Login (that's right, you want to enable auto-login). Then, copy and paste the following code into TextEdit:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" ""> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>AbandonProcessGroup</key> <true/> <key>Label</key> <string>com.luomat.loginhook</string> <key>ProgramArguments</key> <array> <string>/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/</string> <string>-suspend</string> </array> <key>RunAtLoad</key> <true/> </dict> </plist>

Go to Format > Make Plain Text and save the file as com.luomat.loginhook-2.plist and put it in ~/Library/LaunchAgents. After rebooting your computer, you'll notice the login screen shows up, but when you log in, your desktop and all your startup apps will be loaded and ready to go.

What this setup does is automatically log you in, but invoke fast user-switching as soon as it does. That way, your desktop begins to load, but it prompts you to log yourself in before you can actually do anything. This way, you can turn on your computer and step away for a moment while your programs load — without anyone else being able to get into your system. Hit the link for more ways to configure this setup.

Terminally Geeky: Use Automatic Login More Securely [TUAW]


    Thanks for the tip. Shall give it a go now.

    Hey - How come you didn't credit TUAW for this work? I read this yesterday on their site and the biggest giveaway is that both the script and the .plist filename contain the TUAW author's name (TJ Luoma??).

    Certainly linking out is one form of credit, but it really looks like Lifehacker's Whitson Gordon came up with this idea.

    Please try to acknowledge your sources. Otherwise you are stealing.

      There is a clear credit link at the bottom, but I've added a second note in the text.

        Great - Thanks Angus - Not trying to be a troll or an a-hole, it just stood out to me. Feel free to delete these comments if you like.

    Great write up! Thanks!

    So I did this but want to reverse it; is there any easy way to disable the modification the code made?


    So I did this but want to reverse it because I'm forced to login twice. Also, I cannot find the com.luomat.... file. Is there any easy way to disable the modification the code made?


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