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{"Reader Tory Yaphe writes:


You betcha.

That shortcut is the tiniest bit tricky because of its timing. When you boot your Mac, wait until the gray screen with the Apple logo disappears and then, when you see the progress window (the white box surrounded by blue), press and hold the Shift key. This skirts auto login and takes you to the list of your Mac's users.

While we're discussing the Shift key at startup, I might also mention that this key can perform one of several functions at startup. If you hold down the Shift key as soon as the Mac boots and then let go when the Apple logo appears, your Mac will boot into Safe Mode. This mode disables all but the essential system software necessary to allow your Mac to function as well as runs OS X's built-in repair utility, fsck. You'd invoke this mode if the Mac hangs on startup.

And if you hold down the Shift key when you see the progress window and hang on all the way until the Finder appears, the Mac won't load your personal login items. You'd mash the Shift key in this way when you suspect that a login item is driving your Mac crazy. "}

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