I have a MacBookPro from mid 2009 with OSX 10.11.6 El Capitan, and can't update the OS because of the "old" hardware, and can't access the App Store anymore, anyway; however, it does all I need. That said, one irritating thing that happens is when I invoke Textedit (v1.11) for anything, it opens every Textedit file it can find - is this a feature or a fault? (Note that I did call Apple Help about this a couple of years ago, and the "helper" hadn't even heard of Textedit, and her advice eventually led to having to recover from a backup, done without Apple's "help" - they denied responsibility for bad advice.)

  • I would do the following... 1. With TextEdit open, save any document that has not been saved that you need to keep. 2. From Terminal, run the following command: osascript -e 'tell application "TextEdit" to close windows saving no' 3. Quit TextEdit and then reopen it. Do all the files open again? Sep 2, 2021 at 6:16
  • I believe you should be able to access the App Store. Perhaps explain the details of what happens when you try in another question. As for "old" - 12 years is very old for a laptop. It's about 20 in dog years.
    – benwiggy
    Sep 2, 2021 at 9:32
  • The method suggested by user3439894 has worked - thanks; but I first tried the easier two suggestions by benwiggy in his subsequent answer, and they only closed the one Textedit file that was current, not all of them, but thanks anyway. I did some experimentation, and as benwiggy says in his answer, the Textedit files have to be explicitly closed - not just saved - by either cmdW or the red close button, otherwise they'll be opened on next invocation.
    – jimalton
    Sep 3, 2021 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


By default, TextEdit (and other Apple apps) will re-open every document if you quit it without closing them first. My suspicion is that you've just quit the app without closing the documents every time, and this has built up.

You can close all the open documents by holding the Alt/Option key and clicking the red button in the top left corner of any one window. Or just use Option Command W to close every window.

  • benwiggy: I'm answering your query about App Store here because of char limits. Although I can browse App Store I can't download anything, in particular updates - 3rd party! When I try to download, I'm asked to signon: my Apple Id is ok, and it doesn't matter what I put for the pwd, when I hit Sign In in the dialogue, the dialogue box resizes, becomes blank except for the spinning (sparse) clock, and after a couple of seconds, the clock disappears from the dialogue and appears in the top row, and that's how the window stays, forever. I've tried pwd change but always return to blank dialogue.
    – jimalton
    Sep 3, 2021 at 13:14
  • @jimalton You should really put this as another question.
    – benwiggy
    Sep 3, 2021 at 16:07

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