Prevent resume from occurring at application launch

Here's how to ensure that OS X does not open prior documents when launching a program.

Topher Kessler MacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Topher Kessler

Apple's autosave and resume features are convenient for maintaining your workflow, even when you do not save documents. So in a program like Pages, for example, you could work on a document and simply quit the program or restart your computer, and the next time the program opens, your documents will be reopened with the changes to them preserved.

Option-quitting a program in OS X
Holding Option will close all windows when quitting, but this requires a proactive approach. Screenshot by Topher Kessler/CNET

While convenient, especially in the event of a crash, hang, or power outage, this feature does have one potential drawback: it could reveal some personal or otherwise private information at inopportune times.

You can avoid this by quitting programs with the Option key held down, which will close all windows and not save the application's state, so when launched it will load its default views. This requires that you remember to do this before you quit. Additionally, this will immediately clear your current window arrangement.

An alternative approach is to launch programs but avoid restoring the saved state, which can be done simply by holding the Shift key when you open the program. By using this feature, you do not have to remember to close windows before quitting.

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