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Stop Palo Alto GlobalProtect on macOS from launching automatically

I had installed Palo Alto GlobalProtect on my macOS as part of work sometime. The silly thing always launches when I login (minimized thankfully, so that’s something) and there’s no option to quit it nor to set it as never launch upon login. Moreover, if I close it via Activity Monitor it just comes back again. Irritating!

Today I finally decided to do something about it. (This week and past I have been cleaning up my MacBook Pro, removing a lot of the clutter etc).

GlobalProtect on macOS is loaded by launchd thanks to two plist files in /Library/LaunchAgents. You can read about launchd in this link. I happened to know about it because that is the new/ preferred way of even scheduling tasks in macOS as opposed to cron for instance. If you open this file on your machine you will see that 1) it is set to load at run and 2) it is set to be kept alive in that if the application shuts down it will be launched again. I wanted to know how to change that and this post turned out to be useful. It tells you how to change whether an application is loaded at runtime or not, and also how to tweak with the exit behavior.

I decided to 1) set GlobalProtect to not load at run time, and 2) if I do close it after launching then not start again. The change was simple and here’s a git diff of the changes to the two files for easy viewing:

The changes are simple. Change two <true> keys to <false> and also modify a KeepAlive key to not do anything if the program is successfully exit.

After that do a launchctl unload each of the .plist files (no need to use sudo). This will quit GlobalProtect for you. Then on just launch GlobalProtect manually as you do any other program; and to quit it kill it via Activity Monitor.