I know there's probably a setting in preferences, but I need to be able to do it without Word being open.

The problem is one of my docx has become corrupt, so every time Word opens it immediately stops responding and I can't access preferences.

Is there a way to clear a cache or something somewhere so Word forgets about these files at startup?


5 Answers 5


From the macrumors forums you can hold shift when you launch a program to launch it without the resume previous window functionality.

Alternatively, for those who want some resume functionality and don't want to globally disable it, you can hold Shift when you launch an application to bypass resume and start that app fresh.

If that doesnt work you can turn off the function globally by going to System Preferences -> General and unticking "Restore windows when quitting and reopening apps"

(you can also disable the function on a per-app basis using the instructions here)


You want to disable the resume functionality in Microsoft Word 2011, which will prevent it from trying to reopen documents when the program is launched. Enter the following command in the Terminal:

defaults write com.microsoft.Word NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

There are also full instructions on how to turn off resume for an arbitrary program.

You can also turn-off resume at the operating system level in System Preferences > General then uncheck "Restore windows when quitting and reopening apps".


I tried orangebox's and Adam's instructions and linked instructions but it didn't do the trick, so I tried the following:

  1. Opening up, in this case, Excel, close all documents and quit Excel.
  2. Open up the following folder: ~/Library/Saved Application State (you can also use the Cmd+Shift+G shortcut in Finder)
  3. There you can search for the application folder. For me the folder is com.microsoft.Excel.savedState.
  4. Select it, use Cmd+I for an information window on this folder and check the "Locked" option.

Now Excel can't change the savedState folder and will always open with a blank spreadsheet, which is at least faster for me.

When you drag a document on Excel (in the Dock for example) it will open it normally. Closing Excel and reopening still gets me a clean spreadsheet.


I am on Mavericks and I tried all the advice given above and it did not really work for me. What I did instead was to physically close each document in Word one by one but left Word open. Then I went to the dock, right-clicked on the Word icon > open recents > clear recent. It worked for me, thankfully.


If you're on Mavericks, it's easiest to just open System Preferences and check "close windows when quitting an application." That will prevent things like TextEdit from doing the same, so it might not be exactly what you want, but it works.

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