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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..." System 10.7
The autosave feature in OS X 10.7 has been a mixed bag. It's nice that it saves things for you, but it's not nice that automatically saves things that you don't want to change permanently, or that the "Save As..." option has disappeared. The good folks at stack exchange have discovered a remedy.

To disable autosave in TextEdit.app, run the following command in Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.TextEdit ApplePersistence -bool no
This disables autosave and versions, reenables the "Save As" option and hot-key (Command-Shift S), and reenables Command-D as a hot key for "Don't Save".

For TextEdit, you'll run into sandbox-related permissions errors with this with the old style Autosave, where it attempts to place a file name "filename (Autosaved).txt" in your working directory. I don't know a good fix for that (if someone does, would you mind making a comment?)

This works for other apps as well, just replace TextEdit with the name of the app, e.g.:
defaults write com.apple.iWork.Keynote ApplePersistence -bool no
defaults write com.apple.Preview ApplePersistence -bool no
It is such a relief to have that "Save As..." option back! Hopefully I'll be able to get something done in Lion now with a minimum of cursing.

[kirkmc adds: We know that Save As is coming back in Mountain Lion, but if you want to turn of autosave for a specific application, this is good to know.

I'm not sure about these sandboxing errors. After working with a TextEdit file for a bit, I got an error saying, "You don't have permission to write to the folder that the file "test" is in." To be honest, that kind of outweighs the usefulness of turning off autosave; so if someone can find a solution for that, I'd say this hint might be more useful.]
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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..." | 29 comments | Create New Account
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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: OSXManc on Jun 18, '12 08:50:36AM

DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO DO ALL THIS ?

If you click on the header, you get a downward arrow, select Browse All Versions ... and select the previous version you want !

However, not sure if it covers Autosave versions.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: hughescr on Jun 18, '12 09:40:16AM

Apple has more details in their knowledge base:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4753

Versions will let you revert back to any previous auto-saved version of the file. It's a slightly jarring switch from the old-style "hit cmd-s once in a while" method, but it works OK once you adapt to it. And sometimes it's very useful.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: houplagrundle on Jun 18, '12 01:19:02PM

That's quite cool - I'm surprised I hadn't heard about the browse all versions before, maybe they could tell people a bit more!



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: wgscott on Jun 18, '12 06:16:45PM

This has the potential to be hint of the year.

I got it working for TextEdit with no problem, but I cannot get "save as' to reappear for Keynote and Pages, which are the two i really need.

Any hints?

I deleted all the iWork plist files, but to no avail.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: dmemoryleak on Jun 18, '12 11:44:46AM

I am glad to hear that "Save as" is coming back with Mountain Lion. In the mean time, I have been using "Duplicate" and then clicking on "Duplicate and revert" as a poor man's "Save as". I find it does the same as what I would intend "Save as" to do in most situations.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: kikjou on Jun 18, '12 11:49:40AM

As mentioned before, Mountain Lion will have a system-wide setting to revert to the old paradigm. But it is an all or nothing, which is typical for Apple. I absolutely like this new behavior though, particularly for text-based documents. It required a little redo of my workflow. But once I figured out that I could always go back to where I wanted, it works very well. It also feels more natural now that I have un-learned two decades of conditioning. This said, photos and large files don't do well with auto-save and I am glad that you can turn it off in some applications (e.g. GraphicConverter).



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Jun 18, '12 01:57:02PM

If Mountain Lion will let me revert back to the old behavior (Save & Save as instead of that dreadful Autosave), I'm buying. Autosave forces me to do twice the work to -not- save something that I know is only temporary.

I can argue all day about how wrong-headed I think Lion's Autosave behavior is but is it really so difficult to add "Simple Finder" to OSX and have it include Autosave? Then it can be turned off when required. Of course, the Mac owner won't remember his/her password anyway.

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Two things in this world aren't overrated: MacOSX and Lemon Meringue Pie.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: sss67 on Jul 10, '12 02:22:19AM

Hello,

I made some tests with Mountain Lion and here is what I noticed.

- The "system wide" option only asks if you want to save or not when you close a document. There are many scenarios where this feature is totally useless. E.g., you open an image with Preview, you modify it, you capy and paste it in your document. For some reason Preview crashes but you do not notice it. Your image was saved and overwritten. So Versions is still active. The question is: "what happens if I am working on a volume that does not support version?" Is the change permanent? Can I retrieve my original image?

- The Save As menu item comes back if you press the Option key while showing the File menu. That's good.

- The ApplePersistence parameter is very useful because it totally disable the autosave and versions crap. The problem is that I cannot get the Save As menu item anymore, unless I re-enable Autosave and Versions.

Did anybody make additional tests.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Jul 30, '12 08:24:06AM

I've never had an issue with Autosave on Lion. In fact I find it's quite handy with Text Edit. I often make a new documents and never save them. They persistent across restarts. When I'm done with it, I can save it or not.

With documents that were already saved it asks to unlock the file, or copy it. If I wanted to save the original, I'd make a copy and work on that. Once you get used to not having to hit command-S every now and then, it's quite liberating. I think we can all think of an incident where after many minutes of writing something we lost all our time and effort to some calamity. Once I got used to the fact that that would never happen I again, I quite liked AutoSave. I wish Photoshop supported it. It's also very easy to get older versions of files.

I don't use Pages, so I don't know if it gets annoying with that, but I like the way it works with Text Edit.

I think this is more about people not wanting to change how they work.

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iMac 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo, 8GB, 1TB, Mac OS X 10.8
www.david-schwab.com
www.myspace/davidschwab
www.sgd-lutherie.com



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: gteague on Jun 18, '12 05:00:57PM

i don't understand the lack of understanding of the 'save-as' workflow. i open an original image file in preview. when i open it, i don't know exactly what i want to do with it, so i didn't make a copy beforehand. now i decide to make an edit to it and save that as a new file. where is my command? it's gone. export bloats the file size up to 4x. god knows what duplicate does, which version does it duplicate? what does it help to go back to the original version? i want a new file. if i wanted the original i'd just exit from preview and start over. but now there's god knows how much space i've just used because the system is saving versions and crap underneath me. where does it put this and how do i clean it up? no, either the folks who don't mind the removal of 'save-as' have a completely different workflow or computing philosophy than i do (and i do admit i cut my teeth in cp/m and dos where i had to manage my own files) or don't work on a 64gb ssd drive perhaps or have terrabyte raid arrays. what am i missing in my heated rant at apple for removing this command when i don't see why it can't co-exist with the new commands if they would give me the option of turning autosave or versioning off? it will be hard to convince me this wasn't as idiotic and harebrained a move as removing the indicator lights so i now can't tell when my mac is asleep. and yes, i ranted at apple for not having activity lights on their drives back long ago--there is no excuse in the world for not having those indicator, then or today.

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Watch out where the huskies go--don't you eat that yellow snow. F. Zappa



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: afb on Jun 18, '12 09:37:49PM

Thanks for the hint! This above all bothered me in Preview, whose very name would seem to have once suggested that it was not for *editing* but rather for *viewing*.

However, in Preview, while it does thankfully disable auto save, 'Save As' does not appear for me, nor does the command work (which is admittedly not much of an issue if 10.8 fixes it).



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: gteague on Jun 18, '12 09:54:55PM

doesn't work for me in preview either. the 'versions' seem to be gone, but alas, no save-as, either in the menu or via the command sequence for which i get 3 error beeps with no message.

/guy

---
Watch out where the huskies go--don't you eat that yellow snow. F. Zappa



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: sss67 on Jun 19, '12 03:30:41AM

Any way to completely disable Versions too?

I deleted its directory and created a symbolic link to /dev/null (with ln -s) but it is a dirty solution.
It would be nice if we could completely get rid of autosave and versions altogether in a clean way.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: mail@wisenetwork on Jun 19, '12 06:43:59AM

I, too, missed the Save As, and I like this hint, but I solved it a different way. I used Chris Breen's hint from January 23, 2012
(http://www.macworld.com/article/164947/2012/01/deleting_files_within_lions_applications_folder.html#lsrc.nl_mwweek_h_cbintro)
and removed Lion's Text Edit app
(rm -rf /Applications/TextEdit.app),
then replaced it with the one from Snow Leopard. Works perfectly! I tried this with Preview, but it didn't work, it just told me I couldn't run that version of Preview (SL) on Lion.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: lazykayaker on Jun 20, '12 07:51:32AM

I'm very happy that we'll be getting "Save As" back with the next upgrade. I've used words that my mom would wash my mouth out with soap because of the loss of this functionality. It has wasted more hours of time than I kept track of unfortunately. When I have minutes from weekly, monthly, quarterly meetings for work or the various organizations I belong to, I take the last minutes meetings and save them as the current meetings minutes. That way they are open so that I can just overwrite the format and have the previous minutes for reference right in front of me without having to switch documents. I wish the folks at Apple, MS, Adobe, Oracle, and the various other companies that produce applications/operating systems, actually tested them in real world scenarios. Taking away keystrokes and forcing us to use a mouse was the beginning of productivity being harmed. Anyway...glad its going to get fixed...will get off my soap box.



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How to disable it for all apps
Authored by: tempel on Jun 26, '12 09:15:46AM
It seems we can set the preference globally by using the "-g" option, like this:
defaults write -g ApplePersistence -bool no


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How to disable it for all apps
Authored by: Lri on Jul 11, '12 11:56:27PM

It seems to make logging in take much longer though.



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How to disable it for all apps
Authored by: cilly on Jul 13, '12 12:45:03PM

Perfect, life is so much easier without that version sh...

Finally, my Macbook Pro 13" i7 is as fast and doesn't get struck with IO-traffic nobody wants.

Too good, it is gone in 10.8.



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How to disable it for all apps
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Jul 30, '12 01:02:25PM

tempel... why does this cause some users to see a permission's error message?

It works fine for me but some see the message.



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How to disable it for all apps
Authored by: tempel on Jul 30, '12 01:42:03PM

No idea. I just tried it out when I saw someone else using the "-g" option for something else and figured it could be used for other global prefs as well.

It's probably Apple's great "we have to protect even the power users" new attitude in Lion and Mtn Lion...



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How to disable it for all apps
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Jul 30, '12 06:21:22PM

I just got the error message myself for the first time.

It seems innocuous though since all that I had to do was dismiss it and I could go on changing the unsaved TextEdit document as much as I wanted and then save it.

So for the considerable speed improvement I've seen in the system itself it's a no brainer to keep Autosave deactivated.

Now opening applications and even folders in the Dock that had previously taken several seconds to open... now open quickly after globally disabling Autosave.

I imagine this is due to the system not having to waste resources keeping track of everything.



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: skidmark on Jul 02, '12 07:45:46AM

In Mountain Lion, holding down the <strong>Option</strong> key while in the File menu reveals "Save As..." temporarily replacing "Duplicate".



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Disable Autosave and Enable "Save As..."
Authored by: Dana Schwartz on Jul 30, '12 08:12:03AM

TUAW shows an even easier way to get "Save As..." back:

http://www.tuaw.com/2012/07/29/get-save-as-back-on-mountain-lions-file-menu-easily-and-without/

See the comment near the end by "rbascuas" for the best of all.



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Why do some get an error message
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Jul 30, '12 12:55:55PM

I'm wondering why the Terminal command to globally disable Autosave:

defaults write -g ApplePersistence -bool no

...works for some users (like myself) and others get an error message if a TextEdit file is changed and left open without saving it? And they have Time Machine off.

Any ideas?

Edited on Jul 30, '12 12:59:07PM by Ronald Lanham



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Why do some get an error message
Authored by: tempel on Jul 30, '12 01:48:39PM

Where did you find reports that this is causing problems? What kind of errors are they? In the Console, or dialog boxes showing the error? And does it lead to data loss or is it just an annoying error msg that one can ignore?



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Why do some get an error message
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Jul 30, '12 06:42:54PM

I just got the error message myself for the first time.

I see now the steps to make it occur...
Open a TextEdit file change it but don't save it.
A little while later (varies from a couple of minutes to many minutes) and you get an error message.
But if you have an open TextEdit file and it's been saved (or opened without changing it) there will be no error message.

I have gotten in the habit of manually saving so often that I hadn't seen this before.

It seems innocuous though since all that I had to do was dismiss it and I could go on changing the unsaved TextEdit document as much as I wanted and then save it.

So for the _considerable_ speed improvement I've seen in the system itself it's a no brainer for me to keep Autosave deactivated... and occasionally put up with this minor annoyance.

Only TextEdit does this. I've left Pages, TextWrangler and Bean files opened after changing them and none of them display an error message.

It's nice to have the added speed. Now opening applications, and even folders in the Dock that had previously taken several seconds to open, now open quickly after globally disabling Autosave.

I imagine this is due to the system no longer having to waste resources keeping track of everything.



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Why do some get an error message
Authored by: tempel on Jul 31, '12 01:07:57AM

I am skeptical about the performance increase you report.

I am a software developer and understand some if not even most of the techniques behind tracking files for auto save, and in general it's not putting strain on the system that'd be noticable.

Similar techniques, with a lot more "strain" are used by Time Machine and Spotlight, for instance. Unless you have disabled all these entirely, those should slow down your system long before auto save would do it, I reckon.

However, if you have folders with 1000s of files inside, and expecially if those are your default save destination (e.g. the Documents folder), I could imagine a slowdown. Do you have such folders?

Or it could be a misconfiguration or "dead" link to unavailable files that causes problems, that are particular to your system but not to everyone else's.

For instance, a few people reported slowdown issues with my disk search program "Find Any File". Turns out that for some, it was because of a flaky (and slow) internet connection - I noticed that myself when I was going online with my phone on the train, with on-and-off reception. Here, the issue was in my app, fixed since. Still, it was quite an unusual setup and no one expected that this would interfere the way it did.

The other issue, though, was more common: Someone had configured his Mac to mount a network volume only when it was accessed. That's an old BSD/Unix feature. Everytime FAF searched the disk, this file got "triggered", trying to mount the network volume, which wasn't available any more, though, causing minute-long delays.

So, while these examples are not of the problem you're having, I'm just saying that cause and effect are sometimes not what they seem. In your case, you might have some other problem, and I don't think autosave is really the cause of it, only a trigger that makes it more apparent. So, I'd keep an eye out and try to get on the ground of this.

Oh, and here's a general guide for checking what's wrong with your system: http://www.tempel.org/FindingCrashCausesOnOSX

A few things of that you should try, e.g. log in as a different user, to see if the problem goes away, suggesting a misconfiguration on your default system. But then, maybe it _is_ the option this hint is about. However, I do not see the issues you report, so I rather think it's something particular on your system, not a general one.



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Why do some get an error message
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Jul 31, '12 07:47:30AM

Tempel,

Thanks for the post.

I see a very noticeable reduction in time that it takes for some apps to launch from the Dock. Most noticeable is Mail... but TextEdit and Preview are quicker as well.

Definitely not my imagination for my system, though I'm not saying that all others will see the same results.



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