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Stop OS X Lion from reopening previous files in applications

One of Mac OS X Lion’s new features is the ability to restore your applications to the state they were in before you closed them. The idea being that if you were to restart your computer, it will resume into the same state as before. Or re-opening a closed application will resume to the previously opened files. Microsoft Word would open with the documents you were editing last, the Preview app will open with the pictures your were viewing previously, etc… You can probably see how this feature may become more interfering than helpful.


For this feature to be helpful, you would have to close the files you are working on, before quitting the application. But who does that? Most users tend to just quit the application (Command + Q), but Lion will end up reopening those files on the app next launch. Argh!

Picture this, you’re opening a JPG to show your boss, and Preview decides to also open other images that you shouldn’t be viewing at work. Who thought this was a good idea? This functionality bothered me so much, I was regretting my upgrade to Lion.

But luckily there is an easy fix!

To disable this annoying behaviour there is just one checkbox to uncheck.

    1. Open System Preferences

    1. General (under Personal)

    1. Uncheck “Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps

That’s it. Take a deep breath.


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