When shutting down or logging out regularly, there is an option to reopen, or not, all the programs and their respective windows upon logging in again.

That option for me is unchecked, and the OS seems to remember that choice.

Likewise, in the General panel of System Preferences, I have it set to NOT reopen windows/documents when relaunching programs.

However, if the new login occurs after a power outage, every single program that was previous opened gets opened up and attempts to load the windows that were open, rendering my computer basically unusable for almost ten minutes or more (I often have dozens of programs open and we won't even talk about number of tabs on Chrome).

Is there a way to suppress the relaunching of programs and previously opened documents permanently and definitively?

I'm on Sierra.

  • @user3439894 or I could just get a Tesla Powerwall too I suppose. The question isn't how to gracefully shutdown, it's about how to actually restart without reopening programs. The same issue happens with kernel panics or ANY other unexpected reboot. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


For others looking for an answer to this, specifically to prevent applications restarting after a power failure, see this other AskDifferent post:

Avoiding all apps reopening when OS X crashes

The important part is to prevent the OS from writing to the ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.loginwindow* file(s) which are used to record which applications are open at any given time, and informs the OS of which applications to restore in the case of a power failure.

If you need to ensure that your system's start-up sequence is the same regardless of a manual or timed power-on, as well as a restart in the case of a power failure, then the details provided at the linked answer above, are the solution you need. This is particularly useful in cases where the system is being used to power a kiosk or a similar setup.

I recommend following the "GUI method" outlined in the linked answer, which first involves emptying the file of any references to currently open applications, then locking the file, using the Get Info window's Lock option. This prevents the file being written to going forwards, and ensures the file remains empty of references to currently running applications. As such the system will restart from a power failure, in the same way as it would under normal start-up conditions.


Have a look at Temporarily Disable Login Items in Mac OS X.

How to Temporarily Disable Login Items in OS X

To temporarily disable all login items and login apps from loading upon start or login of OS X, hold down the Shift key when clicking the “login” button and continue holding the Shift until the desktop displays on the Mac. This is how it works on a password protected Mac. Generally speaking, all Macs should use a password for login.

If for whatever reason the Mac does not have a password protection set on boot or login, you can still disable the login items, but the timing is slightly different.

How to Temporarily Disable Login Items on a Non-Password Protected Mac

For Macs without a password set, you can hold the shift key after the initial grey Apple logo boot screen has passed. If you start holding Shift too early though, you will end up in Safe Mode* instead.

I do not know if the will also keep the other App's and there windows from opening however you can give this a try to see if it does.

Sorry, I do not want to crash my system just to test to see if it does both.

  • This is not an answer to the question that was asked. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 22:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .