I was using TextEdit with a number of unsaved documents open. I then attempted to paste an unreasonably large RTF table into a new document. After watching TextEdit beachball for about 5 minutes, I used force quit and reopened it. This caused it to hang and not open any documents, presumably because it was trying to reopen the partially-pasted enormous document that caused it to hang in the first place.

After about 10 minutes I force quit again and tried to reopen it again. It put up a dialog asking: The last time you opened TextEdit, it was force quit while reopening windows. Do you want to try to reopen its windows again?

If I choose reopen, it hangs again. When I right-click on its icon in the dock, I can actually see the titles of all the documents I had open, but I can't switch to any of them.

If I choose "don't reopen," will my unsaved documents and changes be lost? Is there any way to recover them outside of TextEdit, or to tell TextEdit to stop trying to reopen that one fatal document?

I am not using iCloud, and I was not connected to my Time Machine drive when the problem occurred.

1 Answer 1


Eventually I gave in and told TextEdit not to reopen windows. It immediately opened, and the documents that had never been saved were still there. Only the named / saved documents had been closed. The document that was causing the problems was also open and usable, though I'm not sure if the paste operation had completed or whether it just had as much of the text as it had been able to cram in before the initial crash.

The overall answer is that choosing "don't reopen" was safe. TextEdit behaved reasonably and didn't, as far as I can tell, lose any data.

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