Since recently upgrading to "Lion 10.7.3", I have had repeated instances of the machine hanging/crashing without warning and then silently restarting.

While this is annoying enough, the point of this question is to address what happens next: After the automatic restart, Lion reopens most/all of the applications that were running before the crash.

This is a problem because:

  1. It takes a long time, and
  2. I think the original crash maybe related to memory use and restarting a large set of application means the computer is that much closer to hanging again.

So, how can I prevent resuming all/most applications when OSX restarts silently after a crash?

Unlike other posts, I would like to keep resume working for normal shutdowns/logoffs, and just prevent resume after hangs/crashes.


  • The "Restart automatically if the computer freezes" System options (both power and battery) are NOT checked. (Why the system is restarting at all, is the topic of another question)
  • I say "most" applications b/c X11, Zotero standalone (and others?) do not resume after a crash. Pretty much everything else does (ex: Word, Excel, Matlab, iTunes, Stickies, Chrome, LyX, etc.)
  • I think holding shift while logging it will prevent resume, but I'm not certain. (It will also stop automatic login if you press it earlier.)
    – ughoavgfhw
    Mar 3, 2012 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


As described in Why does my computer auto-restart after freezing (Lion 10.7.3), even when disabled? the issue is that the computer was not actually crashing. Only the login process was crashing. It seems that in this situation all of the running programs try to continue including restarting if required.

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