Every time I save a TextEdit file 'SAVE' always goes to iCloud, even though I have been saving to another folder. Can I stop 'SAVE' from doing this?

I run OS X 10.9.4

2 Answers 2


You can run the following Terminal command, which will revert the new behaviour of saving new files to iCloud:

defaults write com.apple.TextEdit NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

To set this for all apps, run…

defaults write -g NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

To revert, replace false with true.

  • ❌ Doesn't work anymore on macOS 11 Big Sur: $ defaults read NSGlobalDomain "NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud" → The domain/default pair of (kCFPreferencesAnyApplication, NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud) does not exist ✅ The other answer worked!
    – porg
    Nov 28 at 15:01

Saving to cloud is easy to disable in system preferences:

  1. Go to the iCloud Preference Pane
  2. Select iCloud Drive
  3. Click on "Options"
  4. Check and uncheck the apps you want saved in iCloud.

This was tested on Yosemite and a Macbook Pro 2015

  • TextEdit was taking forever to open on my machine, and unchecking the box for TextEdit solved the problem. Jun 12, 2019 at 17:44
  • Worked reliable on macOS 11 Big Sur! Henceforth unsaved documents get auto-saved to ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.TextEdit/Data/Library/Autosave Information/ as Unsaved TextEdit Document.txt , Unsaved TextEdit Document 2.txt, etc, though the name in the window titles are "Untitled", "Untitled 2", etc (not congruent with filename). When you quit TextEdit and then restart, docs are reopened too.
    – porg
    Nov 28 at 14:54
  • Checking this setting is crucial for everyone who writes confidential data into a temporarily opened TextEdit window, which many may expect to reside in RAM only, but in reality gets persisted to iCloud immediately! — This default setting may be good for usability & convenience, but is very bad for security (save something seemingly ephemer like a fresh unsaved document straight to the cloud!).
    – porg
    Nov 28 at 14:58

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