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".

3 Answers 3


System Preferences > General

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

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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.

  • Does this work for third party things that haven't been updated for Lion, too? If so, awesome.
    – Gauzy
    Aug 9, 2011 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, 2011 at 15:05
  • Thanks a lot Nate! I tested with Excel and Preview in Lion and worked. :D
    – Fabrício
    Aug 9, 2011 at 15:10
  • 2
    If it answers your question you can mark the answer correct by clicking the checkmark. :-)
    – Nate Bird
    Aug 9, 2011 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.

  • Resume applies to third party apps as well. Apps don't need to explicitly support it.
    – Nate Bird
    Aug 9, 2011 at 14:57

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 http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_tame_six_os_x_lion%E2%80%99s_early_problems

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

defaults write com.apple.Preview NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -int 0
  • 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, 2015 at 4:35

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