Mystery App Launches/Closes Every Morning

mcaswell

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2013
285
124
Every morning at 9am, I see an app icon appear in my dock then disappear. This happens so fast I can't tell what it is (and even if I could see it, it might just be a generic app icon that doesn't indicate what it is).

I'm curious as to what this app could be. Probably just some kind of automatic updater or something, but I'd like to know for sure. Is there a specific place in the logs where I can look and see what process is launching/closing at 9am? I looked around the various logs in Console, but since I don't really know what I'm looking for, the hundreds of various entries make it like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
4,870
669
Try opening activity monitor and sort by cpu use and watch the top of the list to see what pops up at that exact time.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,627
476
Every morning at 9am, I see an app icon appear in my dock then disappear. This happens so fast I can't tell what it is (and even if I could see it, it might just be a generic app icon that doesn't indicate what it is).

I'm curious as to what this app could be. Probably just some kind of automatic updater or something, but I'd like to know for sure. Is there a specific place in the logs where I can look and see what process is launching/closing at 9am? I looked around the various logs in Console, but since I don't really know what I'm looking for, the hundreds of various entries make it like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
If you know that it happens at the same time, try doing a screen recording. Start it at maybe 8:59am. You could view it frame by frame just before 9am.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,053
1,949
ny somewhere
what xgman said. also, check your applications folder; what non-apple apps are there? check the preferences for those apps, see if something's set to open...
 

mcaswell

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2013
285
124
Thanks... I will try the screen recording (just need to set myself a reminder, as I always forget about it until I see it flash in the dock).
 

mcaswell

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2013
285
124
Uggghhh... I did do the screen recording this morning, but the app came and went in the dock so fast this time that the icon didn't even show up at all. All the recording shows is the adjacent icons shifting over slightly (to make space in the dock) for a few frames. Also had Activity Monitor up at the same time, and didn't see any indication of an app being launched.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,627
476
Look at System Preferences->Users & Groups-><Your User>->Login Items. Look at the apps that are listed, go into the preference settings for each app and see if there anything about auto update checking.

Also, Look in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder. If there are files in that folder, see if you can tell which app might be associated, launch the app and look in the preference settings and see if there is anything about auto update checking.
 
Last edited:

mcaswell

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2013
285
124
I don't think I have any Microsoft apps installed, but I'll check. I do know that I have quite a few other apps with auto-update, and I'm thinking that's probably what it is... but I'm still curious as to which app it is!
 
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