Yes, I can see the list of recent files. I would like it to open the most recent file automagically. I don't see an option for this in TextEdit > Preferences.

  • Apparently not because my machine doesn't have a ~/Library/Saved Application State/ directory. Jul 19, 2023 at 13:22
  • 1
    All Macs have that folder, one per user; it's hidden by default, but you can access it via Terminal, or by holding Opt as you open the View menu in Finder.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 19, 2023 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


TextEdit will automatically re-open any documents that were open when you Quit it. (Assuming that this option in System Settings > Desktop & Dock is OFF, as shown.)

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If you close a document, then TextEdit won't re-open it, unless you ask it to.

So if you want to keep working on it, don't close the document: just quit TextEdit.

I dare say it's possible to craft some sort of script that would query the list of recent files and open the first one -- but triggering that script is going to be at least as much effort as selecting the file from the list yourself.

To sum up: No.

  • How do I access this "Close windows when quitting an application" option? Jul 19, 2023 at 13:32
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    @AlLelopath I've added the path. It's in System Settings > Desktop & Dock > Windows & Apps.
    – benwiggy
    Jul 19, 2023 at 13:33
  • This is an older mac so its Apple menu > System Preferences, then click General. Select “Close windows when quitting an app.” Jul 19, 2023 at 13:42

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