How to Disable Versions Auto-Save in Mac OS X
Tired of Auto-Save continuously saving files in the background? Does Versions annoy you with it’s saved states of your work in each apps? For the vast majority of users, Auto-Save and Versions are excellent features in Mac OS X, but some advanced users are annoyed with the features that came in Lion (and are here to stay in Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan). If you fall into that crowd here is how to disable the automatic file saving and the entire Versioning system on a per-application basis.
Note: Most users should not disable these features, they are genuinely useful and can prevent loss of data. Turning off version control of files in OS X is only recommended for advanced users who know why they wish to do so.
Disabling Versions and Auto Save Per App in Mac OS X
If you know the name of the app you want to disable auto-save and Versions for, you can usually just plug the name into the defaults write command. Not all apps use the format of “com.developer.AppName” though so you will probably want to double-check how the app appears by using the following command first:
Find the plist name of the app from the exported list, and plug that into the following command. For example, this disables auto-save and file versioning for Preview:
defaults write com.apple.Preview ApplePersistence -bool no
Note that TextEdit and some other sandboxed apps require a different command:
defaults write com.apple.TextEdit AutosavingDelay -int 0
Now if you enter the Versions window, your auto-save list will be empty and there are no versions to restore to. You’ll probably want to use this in combination with disabling File Locking otherwise you’ll still end up with the Duplicate file hassle.
This tip comes from an answer thread on StackExchange and it has been confirmed to work with many default and third party apps in OS X.
Thanks for the tip Hans!