MacMost Now 597: Understanding the Resume Feature

The Resume feature in Lion allows you to quit applications and then run them again with your windows intact. Any documents or windows you had open before will open again the next time you use the application. This can be disorienting at first, but it can also be useful. Find out how to quit applications and have them start fresh next time. Find out how to disable the Resume feature if it is not for you.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 597: Understanding the Resume Feature.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at the Resume feature in Mac OS X Lion.
So the Resume feature is a pretty simple new feature of Mac OS X. Some people like it, some people don't. So here's the basic idea. Say you're in Safari; you've got a couple windows open that you're browsing, but you go to Safari and quit to get out of it. Okay, so now you would expect the next time you run Safari, that it would open with either a blank window, a new window or nothing and you have to navigate to pages again, but instead it reloads those pages and those windows instantly, exactly as they were before.
So here's another example. I'll hide Safari there and I'll run TextEdit. Now last time I quit TextEdit, I was in the middle of looking at this document here and you can see that it's just going to load it right up and stick it on the screen. So this kind of blurs the line between hiding an application and quitting from the application. In the past say, you could be looking at something in Safari, decide you wanted to work at another application, hide Safari, work in that application and then show Safari again when you want to bring those windows to the front. Now you can actually just quit Safari, and then relaunch it later and those windows will reload. The same for working on just about any type of document. You can kind of quit, you can even shut down your Mac, and the next time that you're running your Mac, and you start up that application, all the windows and documentation you were looking at before will reload instantly in exactly the same way that they were when you quit.
So that sounds great, but it can get confusing. For instance, say you're browsing the web. You end up at this page and you decide to quit Safari. So you do so, and the next time you launch Safari, you might expect to find your home, homepage or a blank page or however you have it set up. After all, if you look under Safari Preferences, and you look in General, you can see "New windows open with," then you can set it to top sites, homepage, whatever you want and you can have your homepage set to whatever you want as well, but instead of it obeying that, you're always seeing the last page that you looked at and it can be confusing if you don't understand the Resume feature.
Or consider the case that you're looking at a PDF document in Preview. You're reading it and you're finished, so you hit Command-Q to quit. Several days later you run Preview again and the document automatically opens. You didn't even remember that you were reading the document, so it can be a little confusing. The problem way to do it would of course be to close the document first, and then quit Preview.
Now you can shut this all off. If you go to System Preferences and you look under General, you'll see an option right here for "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps". Simply turn that off, and the entire Restore feature is turned off for all your applications. Or you can simply change how you quit applications. For instance, in TextEdit, I close this window or go to File>Close, and then quit but I could also, instead of doing Quit TextEdit, hold down the Option key and see, it changes to Quit and Discard Windows. Or I could just not even use the menu and just do Option Command-Q. Doing that means the next time I open TextEdit, that document will be there. The same works for Preview, Safari, whatever you want to do. So by just getting used to Command Option-Q when you want to close all the windows or just Command-Q when you want the windows to resume where you left off the next time you're on the app, you get the best of both worlds. Now I should also note that the Resume feature has to be enabled in the application. So of course it works with all the Mac applications now and several other ones that have updated since Lion, but older applications won't use the Resume feature. So I hope that betters explains the Resume feature and how it could help you or how you simply disable it if you don't want to use it. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 597: Understanding the Resume Feature”

    8 years ago

    Is there a Video step by step tutorial out there that shown you how to merge 2 images through GIMP. I do digital stamp cards and the crafters are using digi stamps BUT even though I have read/watched some of the tutorials on how to use GIMP (Which I am terrible-newbie) I cannot seem to merge 2 images and size them and eliminate the lines on the foreground image??? Do you know of anyone that has done a video step by step tutorial for us? I have asked tons of the crafters from around the world and no one seems to know exactly how to do it. Thanks.

    8 years ago

    Gary, the option cmd Q does not work for me on text edit. However it works on Safari. What am I doing wrong? Thanks

      8 years ago

      Not sure. Try using Option+selecting the menu item TextEdit, Quit. Or, just closing the windows before quitting.

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