In Lion, TextEdit used to open with a blank file by default. On Mountain Lion, it launches with a file picker by default — either for choosing to store the file in iCloud or for opening a local file.

How can I make TextEdit launch with a blank file by default in Mountain Lion?


3 Answers 3


If you don't want to disable syncing documents and data, run

defaults write -g NSShowAppCentricOpenPanelInsteadOfUntitledFile -bool false

and quit and reopen TextEdit to apply the changes.

To restore (thanks to comments run)

defaults delete -g NSShowAppCentricOpenPanelInsteadOfUntitledFile

To set this for TextEdit only (thanks to comment by gklka)

defaults write com.apple.TextEdit NSShowAppCentricOpenPanelInsteadOfUntitledFile -bool false
  • 1
    This still works for macOS Monterey, (I only tested the last one from gklka) Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 15:21
  • The last one from gklka also still works in Ventura 13.2.1. Thank you!
    – Onkel-j
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 14:05
  • @Lri Any idea how to do that for preview app ? I can’t toggle specific app from iCloud Drive sync options. Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 0:26

System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive ( Options ) > uncheck TextEdit.

Starting with macOS Ventura, it is System Settings > Internet Accounts > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Options > uncheck TextEdit.

  • 2
    Easiest answer!
    – puerile
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 4:35
  • 5
    Still working for me in 2022. Thanks! Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 12:11
  • 1
    The only thing I was missing from Windows was how quick the notepad was opening. Now it also is solved. :-) Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 7:44
  • I didn't need iCloud in TextEdit (for now) so this works perfectly. It's in System Settings > Internet Accounts for Ventura. Also, it took a while before the unchecking saved properly.
    – ADTC
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 13:03
  • This one worked for me quickly and easily. Thank you!!!!!!!
    – Michael J
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 17:34

Go to System Preferences > iCloud > uncheck "Documents & Data" from the sync list.

  • 2
    Doing this will remove the possibility to save and sync documents and data from any application in OS X.
    – Hoshts
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 21:26
  • It's the only way - otherwise, it'll prompt whether you want to save a document to iCloud or locally. Remove iCloud from the mix, you get a blank document locally.
    – hiiambo
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 21:26
  • his will remove your files locally as I ´ve did in OSX 10.13.6! Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 0:38

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