How to Keep Your Mac from Sleeping
Mac Tips

How to Keep Your Mac from Sleeping

Before we start

A poorly set Mac sleeping mode can become a reason for its bad performance. However, there are many other reasons why your Mac runs slow.

 

To better understand why the performance of your Mac is far from perfect, download the MacKeeper app and find out the real reasons. If necessary, MacKeeper will help you eliminate them.

What is sleep mode on a Mac?

Your Mac has an energy-saving feature that tries to preserve energy whenever it can. This feature detects inactivity and automatically puts your Mac to sleep. This is great for your electricity bill and your battery life as well. However, sometimes it can be really annoying.

 

For example, you can be downloading important files at night or watching a really good movie, and then—boom!—your Mac goes to sleep.

 

Therefore, in this article we will walk you through:

  1. How to stop your Mac from sleeping
  2. How to temporarily turn off the sleep mode on a Mac using Terminal
  3. How to schedule sleep on your Mac
  4. How to prevent your Mac from sleeping when its lid is closed

How to turn off sleep mode on a Mac

  1. Click on the Apple menu on the top left of your screen and select System Preferences
  2. Open Energy Saver by clicking on the light bulb icon
  3. In the Energy Saver panel, you can notice the Turn display off after slider
  4. Slide to Never to permanently keep your Mac from sleeping

There are also a number of handy options you can select:

  • Regulate how long your Mac stays awake—use the slider to determine the amount of time your laptop should wait before going to sleep
  • Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off—when you are performing a task that doesn’t require your display to be on, such as playing music or downloading files, you can use your MacBook with its lid closed
  • Put hard disks to sleep when possible—this option powers down your hard drive when you aren’t working with files stored there
  • Wake for networks access—this option will wake up your Mac when someone accesses its shared files
  • Wake up automatically—turn your Mac on whenever power is available
  • Enable power naps—this allows your Macintosh to occasionally wake from sleep to perform some tasks such as checking for new emails
Energy Saver window on a Mac with sleep options

You can also use third-party apps to help set up your Mac’s sleeping preferences in addition to many other unique features.

How to temporarily turn off the sleep mode on a Mac using Terminal

For a temporary sleep mode, there’s a special Terminal command called caffeinate. It won’t allow your Mac to enter sleep mode as long as the Terminal window is open.

 

All you need to do is:

  1. Open the Terminal app from the Application > Utilities, or type Terminal in Spotlight
  2. When Terminal opens, type: ‘caffeinate’ and press Enter
Terminal window with caffeinate command inserted

The only change you’ll notice is that your cursor will jump to a new line, and “caffeinate” will appear in the Terminal window title next to your username.

 

That’s it! Now your Mac will stay wide awake just like you do after a cup of coffee.

 

Bear in mind, this works only while the Terminal window remains open. If you attempt to close the window, this warning notification appears:

Notification about closing terminal window with caffeinate process running

Click Close and your Mac will sleep according to your Energy Saving settings in System Preferences.

How to schedule sleep on your Mac

1. Click on the Apple menu on the top left of your screen and select System Preferences

 

2. Open Energy Saver by clicking on the light bulb icon

 

3. Click Schedule

Energy saver window with Schedule button highlighted

4. A window will pop up with 2 checkboxes:

  • Start up or wake
  • Sleep

5. Select the day of the week and the time you want to wake or put your Mac to sleep

Energy saver window with options to schedule Mac sleep

6. Click OK

 

That’s it! Now your Mac will wake or sleep at the time and day you selected.

FAQ

1. Does a Mac sleep when its lid is closed?

By default, yes, it does. However, you can easily change this by following this simple guide:

  1. Click on the Apple menu on the top left of your screen and select System Preferences
  2. Open Energy Saver by clicking on the light bulb icon
  3. Check the Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off box

Selecting this option will stop your Mac from sleeping even when you close the lid and will keep it on all night.

2. How do I wake up my Mac with a keyboard?

You can easily do this by pressing the Power button (not holding).

3. What does “Put HDD to sleep when possible” mean?

As you probably know, hard drives have a spinning needle that spins in order to reach data and do operations such as saving files, and so on. This spinning requires energy and too much spinning can wear off your hard drive. 

 

Therefore, there is an option called HDD sleep. This option allows you to stop your hard drive from spinning when you are not using your Mac so you can save energy and prevent deterioration of your hard drive, which prolongs its lifespan.

 

To activate this option all you need to do is:

  1. Click on the Apple menu on the top left of your screen and select System Preferences
  2. Open Energy Saver by clicking on the light bulb icon
  3. Check the Put hard disks to sleep when possible box

Now you have all the information you need to stop Mac from sleeping without any additional tools or special knowledge needed!

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