Mountain Lion: Getting Rid of the “Documents in the Cloud” Dialog

If you’ve upgraded to Mountain Lion, you may be seeing one of these screens every time you open Apple’s document-creation programs (such as Pages or TextEdit):

The applications want you to confirm whether you’d like to store a new document in iCloud, keep the new file on your Mac, or open an existing file.

I know that’s a pretty cool new feature. Thing is, I find it quite annoying. After all, if I’m opening the TextEdit program itself instead of double-clicking on a document, I generally just want to create a blank file, not open an existing one. And doing it this way takes me an extra step. AN EXTRA STEP. Requiring me to use my trackpad, even—argh! 

Ahem. First of all, it’s good to know that you can quickly dismiss that dialog by hitting Command-N (File > New). This’ll bypass the choices and bring you straight to a new document. But how do you turn it off completely if you just HATE seeing that box? The setting’s in an odd place—go to System Preferences > iCloud and toggle the Documents & Data checkbox off.

Of course, if you’re actually using the Documents & Data choice to sync files between your devices, you won’t want to do this! If the option just happened to be toggled on, though, feel free to turn it off.

After you’ve changed that, the iWork apps and TextEdit will no longer ask you what to do when you open them. They’ll just open a new document (TextEdit) or follow the instructions you’ve given in their application preferences. For iWork stuff, this means that you’ll either see the Template Chooser or get a new document from your default template.

(As shown in my screenshot above, you can change this behavior for the iWork programs under the General tab of their preferences.)

I am so glad to be able to turn that off, honestly. If I hadn’t been able to do so, it might have been a defenestration moment for my Mac. No, I’m calm now, I’m calm. I’ll put off my mental breakdown until tomorrow.