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Catalina insists on re-opening all applications on startup that were used shortly before shutdown

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Hello,

I have a MacBook Pro running the latest version of Catalina. I keep on top of updates and have been using Macs for decades. Recently a strange, and annoying issue has begun popping up, and I cannot seem to find anyone else on the net when is experiencing it.

Basically what happens is this: before I go to bed at night, I shut down ALL of the applications I may have been using that day, then I shut down the computer. However, for the last few months, when I startup the computer the next morning all of the applications that I was using the day before automatically re-open by themselves. And it changes depending on what I was using the previous day. If I used Photoshop, it will re-open, if I did not, it will not open. This applies to ANY application that may have been used the previous day. Note once again that I shutdown ALL applications before shutting down my computer for the night. NONE are left open.

Please also note that I do not have "Resume" enabled, and I have no applications in the Login Items for my account. I understand that there are ways to set OS X to automatically re-open applications on startup - but NONE of these are enabled on my computer and they never have been. I have absolutely no desire to have automatically opening applications.

This issue has become so consistent and regular that I've even resorted to closing all open applications, and then waiting 15 to 20 minutes before actually shutting down the computer. And yet the computer STILL automatically re-opens whatever I had open before shutting it down. It makes no sense to me why it is so insistent on re-opening any and all applications that I may have had open the previous day.

Everywhere I look online the default answer is "turn off the Login Items". I can assure you that this is NOT what is causing this issue. I've recently started just not turning my computer off anymore because I'm sick of seeing half a dozen applications opening spontaneously the second the computer is turned on. It slows things down and is completely unnecessary.

If anyone has any idea what could be causing this, and how to fix it, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 
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Welcome to the forum. You have eliminated the two obvious culprits--the Resume option in the window at shutdown and the login options, so that almost forces a reinstall of the OS. However, can you give a try running OnyX and do the default maintenance functions and see if that clears it? OnyX should eliminate caches and temporary stuff that might be triggering the restore actions.
 
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I would also try a PRAM reset. Plenty of instructions on the web on how to do it.
 
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You might also run Etrecheck and pay particular attention to what is automatically loading. It will show all the stuff you don't want to open, but it might also show what might be triggering them.
 
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System Preferences > Users and Groups > LogIn Items and see if anything is set tomopen non bstartup. To remove, click then padlock, enter password, highlight and hit the little minus '-' button.
 
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OP- were you able to find a solution? It appears this is an issue with Catalina. I recently purchased a MacBook Pro from Apple, brand new. This was happening even though we quit all applications, made sure there was nothing under login items, double check that it is not click off to open at login and it will randomly open applications after restart or cold boot from shut down. I have even format and reinstalled Catalina with no success.
 
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I've tried everything suggested in this thread and nothing has solved the problem. Literally the only thing that works is shutting down all open applications and leaving the computer to sit for 10 or 15 minutes before shutting it down. It seems to me to be something inherent to this version of the operating system - something about shutting down the computer too quickly after closing an application seems to trick the computer into re-opening that application upon startup. I've had this computer for 4 years and this was never an issue until a few months ago when I updated to Catalina.
 

IWT


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May I just ask you this - does the same thing happen if you put the MacBook Pro into sleep mode?

This is worth testing.

Ian
 
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May I just ask you this - does the same thing happen if you put the MacBook Pro into sleep mode?

This is worth testing.

Ian
No, I have not experienced the same issue in regards to putting the computer into sleep mode. This only seems to happen with shutdown / startup.
 

Rod


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When you restart (as opposed to shutting down) does the same thing happen? Do you get a dialogue box asking if you really want to restart and a tick box to reopen windows that were previously open on restart?

Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 6.48.18 am.png
 
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When you restart (as opposed to shutting down) does the same thing happen? Do you get a dialogue box asking if you really want to restart and a tick box to reopen windows that were previously open on restart?

View attachment 31092
I don't restart my computer very often, so I tried just now. I quit Safari, waited a moment, and then selected Restart. I was given the dialogue box that you show. With the tick box NOT ticked, I hit Restart. The computer did its thing, restarted, and I logged back in. Safari immediately opened and loaded my set Home Page - just as it would on starting my computer in the morning if I hadn't waited a while before shutdown the night before. I'd only had Safari open for the 2 minutes or so it took to login and read your comment before I started the process - I do notice that through the course of a day (I use my MacBook to work from home, so it sees heavy use) the applications that might reopen the next morning are usually the ones I used most heavily the day before. So mainly Mail, Word, Safari, and Music. If I open an application like Photoshop or Disk Utility for 10 or 15 minutes that day, it won't reopen the next morning - only if I used it for a good chunk of time that previous day. It's always an application I used heavily, and usually the last one that I closed before shutting the computer down for the night.
 

IWT


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@Arkestra

I realise that the top priority is to find a permanent solution to this annoying problem.

Till that's done, may I suggest you simply put the MacBook Pro to sleep at the end of each day, or whenever, by closing the lid.

It's very much my impression that a very large number of people do this routinely anyway. This avoids the hassle of restarting the Mac from shutdown, battery drainage is modest (some recharge it over night whilst in sleep mode).

Assuming you have a PW to activate the Mac (essential in a portable device), you still have the same security when Mac is asleep as you would following a restart.

Ian
 

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Yes, I never turn mine off unless it's travelling somewhere, I just close the lid. My Apple Watch used to unlock it in the morning without me having to enter a PW untill 4 days ago that is when it just stopped working. (See my post AW No longer unlocks my MBP https://www.mac-forums.com/forums/apple-watch/355064-aw-unlocks-mbp.html?355064=#post1842486).
I'm trying to find another post about the exact same problem this user is having, it may not have been on Mac Forums and I can't remember if the problem was solved but it's not unique. I'll get back if I can find it.


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Did anyone ever find a solution to this problem? I have a new MacBook Pro 16-inch and this happens all the time. Apps will randomly reopen on start up.
 
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Log out, Restart and Shut Down, all have this option to reopen apps when logging in,

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.05.54 AM.png
 
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I have that box unchecked. I have tried everything suggested and nothing seems to solve the problem.
 

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To all in the thread experiencing this problem, please try the following and let us know the results. If you have a second account on your computeyrlog into that account and see if the same problem occurs. If you do not have a second account go to the Users & Groups Preference pane and create a new account.

If the problem occurs in your original account but not in the second account that would suggest that the issue is somewhere in your user account and not in the OS itself.

How to create a new user account

×
 
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Another one here who never shuts down. I usually close apps but just shut the lid.
 

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I have tried everything suggested and nothing seems to solve the problem.
How about: System Preferences -> General

"Close windows when quitting an app" Do you have this selected? If not, select it and reboot.
 
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Just out of curiosity, a really simple question. Don't be offended by the asking, but how do you quit your applications? The red "X" does not shut down the app, just push it into the background, still running. So when you reboot, because it was running, it starts up again. To actually end an app, use the "Quit" function from the application menu, or cmd-Q.
 
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