Only one new file opened at a time [Mac OS 10.11.3]


I’m facing a strange bug.

  1. I can only open one new file.

  2. If I close atom with one opened file, and then I restart, the last file is normally opened and I can open a 2nd file but if I try to open a 3rd new file, it is opened but the 2nd is closed.

I have removed the application and the hidden folder .atom so as to do a cleaned new installation without any other package but the bug remains !


See the blog post about the v1.6 release, specifically the section about “Pending Pane Items” right near the top.


Strange feature but indeed so useful ! Maybe you can leave my post for other users who miss this new feature.


I agree that this thread should be left for others to see and this new feature should be better documented. I just spent the last couple of hours trying to figure out if it was one of my installed packages that was causing the problem. I disabled all of them and it didn’t fix the problem. I tried safe mode and it also didn’t work. I uninstalled Atom 1.6 using the details at How to Completely Uninstall Atom for Mac? and that didn’t fix what I thought was a problem.

I went down this path because about a year ago I had a very similar problem with Atom and it was related to one of the packages I had installed or a bug with Atom. I remember the next version of Atom fixing it, so I thought the same problem cropped up again.

I even downloaded the 1.7 Beta and installed it on my Mac to see if the problem was fixed in the next version, but it wasn’t.

I finally resorted to restoring Atom 1.5.4 via Time Machine from last week. After doing this the tab functionality started working again, but all of my packages and customizations were gone, since I also deleted all the Atom files, which included my custom packages as mentioned in the link above.

After getting Atom 1.5.4 working again I decided to come back to to report the problem as an issue on, since I didn’t see it there earlier when looking to see if anyone else has the problem. Before going there I decided to click “Discuss” link at the top of the page to see if the problem was mentioned here, since I didn’t see it under “Issues” earlier when searching. To my surprise I found this thread that informed me that the last two hours I wasted was because of a “feature” and not a “bug”. :rage: ARGH!!!

I think this feature should be better documented in some type of pop-up or something when you open Atom for the first time after the upgrade. Something like “New in this version of Atom”. Maybe this was supposed to be displayed, but Atom 1.6 caused an error the first time I opened it after upgrading from 1.5.4. This is another reason why I thought I had a problem. I restarted Atom 1.6 after the error and it seemed okay until I tried opening new files and it looked like it wasn’t opening new tabs.

I really wish I would’ve seen this thread two hours ago, since I could’ve been working instead of trying solve a problem that didn’t exist. :cry:


I agree it is confusing but that would be a bad road to go down. There are a lot of confusing features and you would be bombarded with pop-ups. Apparently part of your problem was that you had reason to believe it was a bug. Most new users will not have your background. They will assume it is their problem and study up on it.


After I figure out that the problem was a new feature in Atom 1.6 and how it worked I had my wife come over to my computer and told her to open a file. She opened one by single-clicking on it. Then I asked her to open another file and she tried single-clicking on and it changed the tab to that one. I had her try a couple more times and every time she only single-clicked. This is how we always opened files in new tabs in 1.5.4 and all the way back before version 1.0 was released. We both have been using Atom for over a year and both were confused about this new feature. Most new features we figure out without reading any documentation, but this one caused confusion, since we have always single-clicked to open different files in new tabs.

I went over to her MacBook that still had Atom 1.5.4 on it and tried single, double, and triple-clicking and all of those only opened the file once in a new tab. Maybe some people double-clicked when they didn’t need to do that in version before 1.6, but we always just single-clicked.

I am not saying a pop-up message with new features should happen all the time or even if it is a good idea, but a change like this that changes the normal usage of the product maybe should have something that points that out better. I noticed the italicized font in the tab, but didn’t think much of it and didn’t think that I needed to double-click the tab to make it stick before opening another file in another tab.

I can’t imagine we are the only ones confused by this new feature. Now that I know how it works it is fine, but it threw me for a loop and software doesn’t usually do that. Beyond being a web designer and developer I also provide IT support to a group of family physicians and their staff. I am working with software and supporting users on a weekly basis and I am the one that figures out how to use things when they cannot figure it out. I would never hear the end of it if our medical record system made a change like this without letting them know.

I will admit that I had a problem like this in the past and thought it was happening again. Maybe if I just install Atom 1.6 for the first time I would’ve tried double-clicking or read the instructions, but after using a product for a year you kind of expect something like opening a file to work the same. I won’t assume that anymore and will be sure to check out the blog and discussion forums next time a new version seems to be acting strangely.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy using Atom and plan on continuing to use it when coding in PHP, SASS, HTML, etc. It was just frustrating tonight when I saw there was a new version and I quit Atom to have it install and when I re-opened it I thought it was broken.

One thing that seems to be working better after all of this is the problem I had with Atom lagging when I was editing a markdown document and had the preview mode open. I actually downloaded and installed MacDown ( ) earlier today, since Atom was driving me nuts while trying to document things. It looks like I might be able to switch back to Atom now for markdown, but it still seems to be jumping up the page in the preview when I type. I guess that is a problem for another day and a different thread. :wink:

Thank you for reading my rant and sorry for typing so much. I feel better now and I think I am going to head to bed, since it is almost 1:00am. Goodnight. :sleeping:


Maybe the default setting should be to keep standard way of opening a file instead of this new feature.

On the pother hand, without the actual default settings, I would have miss this new interesting feature.