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Archived - Mac OS X v10.6 or later: "Insecure Startup Items folder" message appears after logging in

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Symptoms

After starting up Mac OS X v10.6 or later and logging in, one of the following messages may appear if the /Library/StartupItems folder or one of the items it contains has incorrect permissions or ownership settings:

Insecure Startup Items folder detected.
Items in the Startup Items folder ("/Library/StartupItems/") have not been started because the folder does not have the proper security settings.

insecure folder
or

Insecure Startup Item disabled.
("/Library/StartupItems/[item name]") has not been started because it does not have the proper security settings.

insecdure item alert

Resolution

To prevent the "Insecure Startup Items folder detected" message from appearing

  1. Open Disk Utility from /Applications/Utilities.
  2. Select the name of the volume where Mac OS X is installed (default name is "Macintosh HD").
  3. Click the Repair Disk Permissions button.
  4. After permissions repair is complete, restart Mac OS X and verify that the message no longer appears.

To prevent the "Insecure Startup Item disabled" message from appearing

  1. Open the /Library/StartupItems folder.
  2. Look for the item whose name is displayed in the message that appeared after logging in, then drag this item to the Trash. In the example screen shot shown above, the item's name is "Item_Name". If you don't see an item matching the name shown in the message, skip to the steps that appear below under "If the StartupItems folder does not contain the item referenced in the message".
  3. Restart Mac OS X; verify that the message no longer appears.
  4. If the item you removed is part of software that you would like to have installed, re-install the software, then restart Mac OS X.
    If the "Insecure Startup Item disabled" message returns after re-installing the software, contact the developer of this software to find out if an update is available to correct this issue.

If the StartupItems folder does not contain the item referenced in the message

Note: If using OS X Lion, enable the "root" user and login as the "root" user before completing the steps below. The "root" user can be disabled after completing all of the steps.

  1. In the Finder, choose Empty Trash from the Finder menu. (This step is not required but it will make it easier to find items in the Trash in later steps.)
  2. Open the /Library/StartupItems folder.
  3. Drag any items found in StartupItems to the Trash, and enter your admin user's password if prompted, but do not empty the trash.
  4. Open the /Library folder.
  5. Drag the StartupItems folder to the trash and enter your admin user's password if prompted, but do not empty the trash.
  6. With the /Library folder still open, choose New Folder from the File menu in the Finder.
  7. Rename the new "untitled folder" to "StartupItems".
  8. Open Disk Utility from /Applications/Utilities.
  9. Select the name of the volume where Mac OS X is installed (default name is "Macintosh HD").
  10. Click the Repair Disk Permissions button and wait for permissions repair to complete before proceeding to the next step.
  11. Open the Trash and select any items that you previously moved out of StartupItems (do not select the StartupItems folder that is in the Trash).
  12. Select Put Back from the File menu, and enter your admin user's password if prompted.
  13. Restart Mac OS X and verify that the message no longer appears.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Aug 28, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Aug 28, 2014
  • Article: TS3493
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