Preventing git panel from opening at atom launch

When I launch atom, this git panel (see image) always pops up, unprompted. How do I prevent this, seeing as it is useless, without an open project. My goal is to have a completely empty workspace at launch, excluding the files I specify to open in

It’s weird that the git tab is opening in the center pane, because it lives in the right dock by default. Did you move it at some point? Atom tries to restore the previous state it remembers when it opens, so if you change the position or visibility of the Git tab, that change should be preserved when you hit reload. If it isn’t, then there might be something going on with Atom’s session memory. Try dragging the tab over to the right side and see if you can get it back in the dock.

I just tried that. Didn’t work. How do I fix the session memory?

You can start Atom with atom --clear-window-state. That will burn all stored information about open files (including unsaved files), what panels are open, how everything has been resized, etc.