Disabling Citrix Autostart on macOS: How To?

Here’s how to disable Citrix autostart on macOS:

The easiest way to do this is to remove Citrix from the Login Items in your System Preferences.

If that is not successful, you can manually remove Citrix from startup folders in your root, user, and system libraries.

Be sure to back up any files before removing them on the chance that it damages Citrix operations.

So if you want to learn all about preventing Citrix to automatically launch on your Mac or MacBook, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Disabling Citrix Autostart on macOS: How To? (All the Info)

What Is Citrix?

Woman working at home office

Before we start turning things off, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page.

Are you familiar with Citrix?

If so, you can skip down to the instructions.

If not, here’s a quick overview.

Citrix is software made by the company, Citrix Systems.

Citrix flagship product is Citrix Workspace.

Citrix Workspace is virtual desktops, programs, and file sharing.

The Citrix Workspace App allows you to access those services.

Moreover, Citrix is commonly used to create conference phone calls.

It can be used for other communications too, like online meetings, file sharing, and external server access.

Most of the time, if you see Citrix on a Mac, it’s working in concert with communication technology on that Mac.

What Is Autostart?

young modern businesswoman leans on the desk and looks to the side laughing

Autostart is a term for when software on your computer launches without your express direction.

When you start up a computer, a lot of things automatically launch.

That’s autostart.

Citrix is often added to autostart lists.

In the next sections, I’ll be showing you how to remove it from those lists.

All you need to know in this section is that computers can automatically launch software whenever they turn on, provided they have permission to do so.

How Do You Disable Citrix Autostart on macOS? (3 Methods)

girl is working in a cafe. concept of freelancing, coffee and la

Ok. Now seems like a good time for me to show you how to disable Citrix Autostart.

Before we jump right into the step-by-step instructions, there are a few things I should point out.

First, these steps will work to disable any third-party software from automatically running when you start the computer or log in to your account.

They are universal steps.

I’ll be using Citrix as a concrete example, but if you want to disable something else, just sub in the name of the software you have in mind whenever you read “Citrix ” in the steps below.

Second, there are three different methods that I am going to explain.

They are ordered on purpose.

The first method uses your system preferences.

It’s very easy, works in the vast majority of cases, and comes with basically zero risk at all.

The second method is a little more involved, and still works very frequently, but it comes with slightly more risk (although still not very much risk).

The third method is the most thorough, and it’s intended for use only after you’ve done the other two.

It’s still not terribly complicated, but it does come with the risk of creating problems for Citrix (or whatever you are trying to disable).

I’m going to show you how to use the method safely, but there’s a reason it’s the third and final result rather than the first thing you should try.

With all of that covered, let’s jump right into the steps.

#1 System Preferences

This is some nice, easy stuff.

In macOS, there is a preference that you can change to disable startup items.

It’s nice and easy, and when you disable startup items, they won’t launch until and unless you tell them to.

Here’s how you go about it.

First, you want to open up the Apple menu (just click on the apple icon on the top left corner of the screen).

In that menu, you want to choose “System Preferences.”

That will open a window.

In that window, you will have a few options.

You want the one that says “Users & Groups,” so open it. 

In the new window, you might see multiple accounts.

Open the one with your account name.

This brings you to a window with a number of different things on it.

You might notice that there’s a padlock on the bottom left of the window.

If it looks closed, then click on it.

It will ask for your username and password.

Provide those to unlock the preferences so that you can make the required changes.

With that done, look for a list of programs or apps.

They are labeled under a heading that says “Login Items.”

That list contains every app and program that automatically launches when you log into your account on this device.

If Citrix is auto starting, then it should be on this list.

When you find Citrix, click on it to highlight it.

Then, click on the “-” button at the bottom of the list.

This will remove Citrix from the list, which is what you want.

Let me explain two things about this process.

First, you need to remove Citrix from the list entirely, or else it will still automatically launch.

This is a list of approved login items, so anything you can read automatically runs.

That’s why you need to use the “-” button to get Citrix all the way off the list.

Second, this process does not uninstall Citrix, nor does it damage the software in any way.

This won’t mess with how Citrix loads or runs.

All this does is take it off a list of items that automatically run every time you log into the computer.

Once you remove Citrix from this list, the software will still work, but you will have to manually launch it to make it work.

It won’t launch itself anymore.

If you decide you want to reverse your decision and add it back to the list, just click the “+” button and return Citrix to the list.

It’s that easy.

You may need to log out and back in for these preferences to take effect.

For Citrix, and most other software, this should be the only step needed.

It will no longer autolaunch.

#2 User Library

Unfortunately, there are times when things on a computer don’t behave the way they are designed to work.

So, if using the System Preferences doesn’t stop Citrix from launching automatically, then you’ll need to take slightly more drastic actions.

For this step, you’re going to navigate to your user library.

It’s hidden by default, so I’m going to show you how to do that.

First, you want to open Finder on your computer.

Once you do, you’ll have a list of options at the top of your screen.

You want to click on “Go.”

This will open a drop-down menu with a bunch of folders that you can open.

What you’ll notice is that none of them say “Library.” 

Here’s the trick.

You need to hold down the “Option” key on your keyboard.

While you hold that key, you’ll see the Library option in this drop-down menu.

If you let go, it will disappear again.

So, hold down Option and click on that library.

This will open a Finder window, and it will navigate you directly to your user library (~/library).

Now that you’re in your user library, you want to look for a subfolder called “startup.”

This folder won’t always be present, but that’s not because it’s hidden.

Your computer won’t create this folder until and unless it needs to.

So, until an application on the folder wants to put an item in this folder, it won’t be created.

So, look for the folder.

If you can’t find it, you’re done with this step.

There’s nothing to worry about.

If you can find it, open up that “startup” folder.

In the startup folder, you’ll see another list of items.

These items might have weird names, and a lot of them probably start with com.

After the “com” you’ll see a name (like Apple or Citrix).

These are developer names, and they can help you find what you’re looking for.

On the list of items, look for anything with Citrix in the name.

Find every entry that you can, and when you do, drag and drop the Citrix item from this user library straight to your desktop.

By doing this, you’re removing it from the startup folder in your user library, and at the same time, you’re backing those specific files up on your desktop.

You’re doing this so that you have the option to undo these steps later if you want to.

Typically, when you drag an item from your user library to your desktop, it will appear on the desktop and disappear from the user library.

There are some ways to set up Mac software where it will behave a little differently.

In this case, it might appear on the desktop and remain in the user library.

If that’s the case, then after you back up all of the Citrix items in that folder, go ahead and drag them from the startup folder to your trash.

Once there are no more Citrix items in this startup folder, you’re good to go.

You have to restart the computer for the changes to take effect, but Citrix should no longer automatically launch.

If you want to reverse the process, go back to that startup folder in your user library.

Drag the backup items on your desktop back into the startup folder, and you’re good to go.

#3 Other Libraries

If the previous two methods still haven’t turned off Citrix, then there is a more thorough approach.

Before we do it, here’s your warning.

We’re going to get into the system-level libraries in your computer.

This is where the core stuff is that makes the computer function on the most basic levels.

Do not mess with anything outside of these instructions.

You can cause serious software damage to your computer.

Also, there’s a chance that these steps will break Citrix.

If that happens, I’ll show you how to create and restore backup files (just like you did with the user library) so you can fix anything if it does go wrong.

In most cases, these steps won’t cause a problem, but when things don’t behave normally, there’s a chance for them to go even more wrong.

Not to worry, this is a safe and reversible process, as long as you stick to the steps.

Ok. We’re going to follow the same steps as we did with the user library, but this time we’re going to navigate to the root library and the system library.

I’ll show you how to find each in a moment.

Each of those libraries has its own startup folder.

You’re going to navigate to that folder and look for items with Citrix in the name.

You’ll drag them to the desktop to back them up, and most likely, they will remain in the startup folder when you do that.

When an item is backed up to the desktop, you can drag it from the startup folder to the trash (don’t empty the trash just so you have an extra backup).

When you’re done with both startup folders, restart the computer, and it should be good to go.

If you need to undo any changes, go back to the startup folders, and drag your backups from the desktop back to their original location in the startup folder.

All of those steps are the same for both of the folders that I’m about to describe.

Let’s start with the root library.

Open Finder.

On the menu at the very top of your screen, choose “Go.”

That will bring up a drop-down menu.

On this menu, choose “Home.”

You will see a Finder window with a list of options.

One of them is “Library” and another of them is “System.”

We will be using both of these.

First, open the Library folder.

This will give you a new list of options, and among them should be your Startup folder.

Follow the directions I gave above.

Go back to “Go” at the top of the screen, and choose “Home” once more.

In the Finder window, choose “System.”

This gives you a new list of options, and one of them says “Library.”

Open this Library folder (this is the System Library).

It has its own Startup folder.

Open the Startup folder, and follow the directions I already gave you.

That’s it. You can restart the computer to confirm that it worked.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

    View all posts