It seems to be a new behavior in Lion but here is what is happening for me:

  1. I open a video file
  2. Quicktime launches and play the video
  3. When I'm done, I hit CmdQ

Now, with Lion, when opening another video the same way, it opens but the previously opened one also...
To avoid this I have to do a CmdW before my CmdQ.

I suppose it's linked to the General System Preference Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps.
If so, is there a way to deactivate it for some of the apps and not globally (as I must admit it's quite handy in other applications)?

4 Answers 4


The shortcut CmdOptQ is for "Quit and Discard Windows" which will quit the app 'the old way', and not reopen the windows the next time it's launched. So if you only need to suppress this functionality some of the time, this is a good shortcut to know.

  • Thank you. This fixed a problem with Quicktime hanging when closing a file.
    – B Seven
    Dec 23, 2012 at 19:20

The NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows setting seems to work for me on QuickTimePlayer as well as with Preview. This undocumented setting seems to override any system wide preference.

  • defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayer NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -int 0

For those that care - here is the syntax to set the same for Preview:

  • defaults write com.apple.Preview NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -int 0
  • Your command for QuickTimePlayer doesn't work, this works for me defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false
    – Son Nguyen
    Oct 21, 2021 at 3:43

This is not so much an answer as a suggestion, but here goes: Try forgetting about Cmd-Q, at least for most things. Lion has support for the automatic termination of apps if resources become constrained. Most Apple-provided applications support this facility, and Quicktime is one of them. It will quietly go away if it has no windows open and OS X decides that it is in the way.

For an example of this technology in action, you might try keeping Preview running with no windows open – it can be a real challenge, for some folks it quits as soon as they switch away from it :-)

  • 1
    I don't get it as I have no issue having Preview running all day long without any window open (just happened today). If this is linked to resources, my 8GB RAM won't help solving my issue this way! :)
    – LudoMC
    Aug 21, 2011 at 21:01
  • I confirm that with same scenario, Preview stays open on my side. And don't worry, my RAM is well used when I'm doing photo and video editing ;-)
    – LudoMC
    Aug 21, 2011 at 21:20
  • If I open a file with Preview or Quicktime and close the document window, both applications will close as soon as I switch to another app. They do not close if I just start them up and do not open a document. Of course I don't have 8 GB of RAM in my laptop.
    – zzz
    Aug 21, 2011 at 21:24

In Mountain Lion, which I believe it's also there in Lion, go to System Preferences, General, check the checkbox that reads "Close windows when quitting an application". The bottom of that option also explains the following: 'When selected, open documents and windows will not be restored when you re-open an application'.

It worked for me. Quicktime stopped reopening the last video played.

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