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I own a 13-inch Mid 2012 MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, running OS X 10.9.5. I came to notice a while ago, that after having forced a reboot (by holding down the ⌽ Power button) the system asks if you want to restore the windows that it previously had open.

I'm just baffled by this. Does this mean the system is keeping a constant track of everything I open and close? I mean, if it does, this surely has a performance impact (which I happen to have noticed actually).

My question is then, is there any sort of configuration that I can tinkle to make it stop doing this in the hopes of getting it run faster?

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    Can you explain why you think you are seeing a performance decrease, and when this decrease started? Your Mac has had this feature as long as you have owned it (since it debuted in 10.7 and your Mid 2012 MacBook Pro shipped with, at minimum, OS X 10.7.4), so what are you comparing performance against to determine that there is a negative performance impact? – tubedogg Oct 29 '14 at 4:35
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Simplified explanation: When an application is started, an entry is written to disk that says this app is currently active. When an application quits, that entry is removed. When the system starts and finds entries in this list, it's an indicator that the system crashed or did not shut down properly and it can offer to relaunch those apps for you. It takes virtually no practical overhead at all to track this.

Each application individually may also be tracking which documents you opened pretty much the same way and then reopen your documents when it is being launched. There's no need to "constantly track the state of everything", the system just needs to make a few notes here and there when key events happen (such as an application launching or quitting).

  • This is not at all what is being questioned and sounds more like "Chrome didn't close correctly. Would you like to reopen your tabs?" than the feature in Mac OS X. The resume feature explicitly operates on a successful shutdown. Application state data is written to disk that allows each application (if so equipped by its developer) to restart in the same condition it closed in at system shutdown. – tubedogg Oct 29 '14 at 5:49
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    Those are pretty much the same features, in fact, and is what the OP is describing and confused about. He force shutdown his Mac, and on restart it offered to relaunch his apps. The tracking of state is also fundamentally the same thing, regardless of whether the app quit normally or was force-quit/crashed. – deceze Oct 29 '14 at 6:36
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You are misreading the "restore the windows that it previously had open".- it means applications that were open prior pushing the Power button to shut down.

It definitely knows what applications are open at the any time.

So it is simply asking you if you want those applications reopen.

  • This is not entirely accurate. It's not per-process, it's per-application, and each application's state is saved and restored on system restart. It does keep track of closed applications in that if the application supports it, the state of the application is saved whenever the application is closed - not just at system shutdown - so it can be reopened in the state from which it was closed. – tubedogg Oct 29 '14 at 5:51

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