Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For example: I opened some files in Excel, then I close Excel, without close each file (ex.: command + Q). In the next time that I will open Excel, it is going to open my recent files that weren't closed.

Is there someway that I can change this behaviour?

P.S.: This occurs with other apps too, for example "Preview".

share|improve this question

System Preferences > General

Uncheck the Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps.

enter image description here

You can also toggle this behavior by holding the option key when quitting an application.

Added - October 19, 2012

In Mountain Lion, this option has been changed to read, "Close windows when quitting an application" with fine print to explain that open documents will not be restored.

share|improve this answer
Does this work for third party things that haven't been updated for Lion, too? If so, awesome. – Gauzy Aug 9 '11 at 14:56
Yes, it works with third party apps too. I can't find official confirmation but I can confirm that Excel and other non-Lion updated apps still benefit. – Nate Bird Aug 9 '11 at 15:05
Thanks a lot Nate! I tested with Excel and Preview in Lion and worked. :D – Fabrício Aug 9 '11 at 15:10
If it answers your question you can mark the answer correct by clicking the checkmark. :-) – Nate Bird Aug 9 '11 at 17:34

If you're running Lion, this is a built-in feature called Resume.

To prevent apps like Preview/TextEdit/other apps that support Resume from "resuming", quit them with Cmd+Opt+Q.

share|improve this answer
Resume applies to third party apps as well. Apps don't need to explicitly support it. – Nate Bird Aug 9 '11 at 14:57
Thanks, Nate. I've updated my answer to reflect. – Gauzy Aug 9 '11 at 23:30

You can disable the resume feature on a per-app basis as well. See the section titled "Stop Preview (or Other Apps) from Restoring Windows" at

According to the article's author, the command line (to be executed in to disable the resume functionality only for Preview is

defaults write NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -int 0
share|improve this answer
Unfortunately this doesn't work for Preview in Yosemite, and the MacLife page and site are gone. How rapidly information becomes stale! – Jerry101 Oct 12 '15 at 4:35

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.