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Apple Mac OS X tips and tweaks

Date: 23rd July 2011

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OS X Lion: Stop Safari opening the last page viewed

New operating systems bring new ways of working and sometimes they can be irritating. You're used to one way of working and then everything changes and suddenly you can't work the way you always used to. It can be very irritating.

A feature of OS X Lion on the Mac is that when you start Safari it reopens the last page you viewed. You can go into the preferences and set a home page for new windows and tabs, but they are ignored and the last page viewed still opens. I almost never want this and it is very annoying. How do you stop it and get Safari to open the home page you have set in preferences? Here are some suggestions...

There is a system-wide setting to restore an application's windows exactly as they were the next time you start it and this is the first thing to try. Go to the Apple menu, System Preferences, General. Clear the tick box down near the bottom that says Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps. Try starting Safari and see if it is now OK. If not, restart the Mac and then try it again.

If this hasn't done the trick, some people have found that setting the number of recent documents and applications to zero has cured the problem. Unfortunately, turning off restore windows and setting recent docs and apps to zero will affect everything and not just Safari. This is irritating and it seems like the feature hasn't been thought through properly. Wouldn't it be better if you could enabl/disable the feature an an app-by-app basis? With some apps you might want this feature, but on others you don't. Let's hope for an OS update that fixes this.

Another possibile solution is to leave the System Preferences as they are and click the Safari menu and hold down the Option key, which changes certain items. You can then click Quit and Discard Windows. This should stop it remembering the current page so it's not opened next time.

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