Make TextEdit open with a new document, rather than a file open window

4 March 2015, 08:35

I used to use TextEdit all the time to jot down quick notes but since the introduction of iCloud it’s insisted on starting=up with a File Open dialog box, on which you have to click the New Document button. A PITA, if ever there was one. Progress, eh?

The following command pasted into Terminal (which is in the Utilities folder within Applications) will make TextEdit open straight to a new document each time, just like the old days. Triple-click the line to select all of it if you can’t see scrollbars and quit TextEdit first if it’s open:

defaults write NSShowAppCentricOpenPanelInsteadOfUntitledFile -bool false

Then reboot.

Should in future you wish to return to the default way of working, paste this in to the Terminal:

defaults delete NSShowAppCentricOpenPanelInsteadOfUntitledFile

Know better?

???— suraj · Apr 14, 06:37 AM · #

suraj · Apr 13, 10:38 PM · #

This worked perfectly. Thank you!

— Morgan · Dec 10, 12:46 PM · #

This worked perfectly. Thank you!

— J · Jul 7, 12:24 PM · #

Very helpful. Thanks.

— Rich · Aug 15, 07:59 AM · #

Thank you!! SOOOOO Much!

— Sean · Aug 24, 12:17 PM · #

Didn’t even have to reboot / restart Finder!

— Christo · Sep 20, 02:01 AM · #

Thank you!

— Khris · Sep 22, 08:55 AM · #

Non-intrusive ads. Are you f****** serious. They litter the top of the window, they are on the right, and on the bottom.

This is greed.

— callecx · Sep 25, 12:09 AM · #

This was awesome! Didn’t have to reboot. It just worked. Thank you!

— David · Oct 7, 11:19 AM · #

Beautiful. Works on El Capitan.

— Chris · Dec 5, 10:41 PM · #

Thanks! Upgraded my Mac, and came back here to get the code again. Works on Sierra fine.

Why would I want my random daily notes to all be on be duplicated on icloud anyways? I just want a simple note pad, and not like the so-called “Notes” app that besides also having a high iCloud presence, is even more daunting to tackle if all you need to do is jot down something before you forget. Some homegrown apps Apple has to just leave alone. A simple text program that is quick to use is highly needed.

— Victorio · Jan 1, 08:51 PM · #

thanks, tip works perfectly.

I will however not return to your site, because top-banner ads are ridiculous.

— chris · Apr 25, 11:08 AM · #

Great tips!

When opening a new document in TextEdit, how do i set to always open on top?


abe · Jul 16, 05:59 PM · #

Perfect solution, Thank you so much.
It’s still a mystery why or how it happened. OS Sierra but no recent updates???

mac jack · Sep 28, 09:26 AM · #

Also works great in High Sierra

— Joe Thompson · Sep 28, 10:40 AM · #

excellent tip, worked great in osx sierra as well

— mc · Oct 2, 09:05 AM · #

Work great in Sierra. Many thanks!

— Khoa Nguyen · Dec 9, 03:40 AM · #