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) Mar 1 at 15:21

System Prefrences > iCloud > iCloud Drive ( Options ) > uncheck textEdit

  • 1
    Easiest answer!
    – puerile
    Feb 23, 2021 at 4:35
  • 3
    Still working for me in 2022. Thanks! Feb 19 at 12:11
  • The only thing I was missing from Windows was how quick the notepad was opening. Now it also is solved. :-) Jul 16 at 7:44

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
    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
    Aug 20, 2012 at 21:26

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