Setting Mac sleep and wake settings



In this guide, we will explain the different Sleep settings for Mac – we will show you how to access and customize them according to your personal preferences.

Note: some of the settings we focus on in this guide may not be available for all users depending on the Mac model and macOS version that they have.

Sleep and wake up settings for desktop Macs

To access the Sleep/Wake settings on your Mac Desktop, you must first select the Apple Menu  and then go to System Preferences > Energy Saver.

Once there, you can access and customize the following settings:

  • Set the computer to fall asleep or wake up at a time specified by you. To customize this setting, select the Schedule option and change the provided settings according to your preferences.
  • Set your Mac and/or Mac’s display to fall asleep after a certain amount of time of inactivity has passed. These settings can be customized using the Computer Sleep and the Display Sleep sliders – drag them left or right to change the inactivity time required to pass before the screen or the computer goes to sleep.
  • Prevent the machine from automatically falling asleep. If you want your Mac to stay awake even during periods of inactivity and/or when the screen is asleep, enable the “Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off” option.
  • Set the hard-disks of the computer to go to sleep. Enabling this option will put your Mac in a state of “hibernation” when it goes to sleep which is similar to the computer being turned off but your current working progress would be saved and when you turn the machine back on you could start from where you left off. You can enable this feature by selecting the “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option.
  • Start up automatically after a power failure. By enabling this feature, you will cause your computer to start on its own after the power is restored after a power outage.
  • Allow Mac to automatically update while asleep. This feature can be turned on by selecting the “Enable Power Nap” option. This will allow the computer to automatically download and install updates even while asleep, which can potentially free up resources when the computer is being used because the updates have already been installed during its sleeping state.
  • If shared services are enabled, you can set your Mac to briefly wake up so that users can access those services. The different “Wake for…” options you see are for this feature so select those of them that you want to enable.

Sleep and wake up settings for MacBook

To see the different Sleep/Wake settings for your Macbook, click on the Apple Menu , select the System Preferences option, and then open Battery. Now you will have access to these next settings and will be able to customize them:

  • Set a specific time for your Macbook to go to sleep and to wake up. This can be done from the Schedule option – select it and customize it in accordance with your preferences and needs.
  • Change the graphics mode of your display. You can do this from by selecting Battery or Power Adapter and then clicking on the Automatic graphics switching. This option will allow you to set your Mac to automatically switch between different graphics modes in order to save battery life.
  • Customize screen sleep times for when your Mac is running on battery. You can customize these settings by clicking on Battery  and dragging the “Turn display off after” slider.
  • Customize screen sleep times for when the Macbook is connected to a power outlet via its power adapter. This setting can be accessed and customized by selecting the Power Adapter option and then dragging the slider to choose a preferred sleeping time.
  • You can also prevent your Mac from automatically falling asleep. To do this, go to Power Adapter, and select the Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off option.
  • To make your Mac’s hard disks go to sleep during inactivity periods select Battery or Power Adapter and then enable the Put hard disks to sleep when possible option. When this option is turned on, the Mac’s hard-drives would go to sleep when your Mac isn’t being used which would be similar to the computer getting turned off. However, your current working progress would be saved and once you turn back on the computer, you will start right from where you left off.
  • Dim the Mac’s display when the computer is running on battery. This option will automatically decrease screen brightness to preserve battery life when the Mac is running only on battery. You can enable this by selecting Battery and then enabling the Slightly dim the display while on battery power.
  • You can allow your Mac to automatically download and install updates while it is asleep. To enable this feature, click on Battery and then select the  Enable Power Nap while plugged in to a power adapter option. This can reduce the resources used by your Mac to carry out updates while you are using the computer by downloading and installing the updates during periods of inactivity. As you can see from the way the feature is labeled, this function only applies to when the machine is connected to a power outlet via its power adapter and is not applicable while the Mac is running on battery.
  • Allow the computer to briefly wake up to enable users to access shared services whenever this is applicable. This feature can be accessed and customized by selecting Power Adapter and then enabling any of the options labeled as “Wake for…” – depending on the service you want to allow your Mac to wake up for, choose the respective option to enable it.

Those were all of the different Sleep/Wake options and features that you can enable and customize on your Mac Desktop or Macbook computer. If you do not understand any of the options or the way to enable them, feel free to write us a comment down below, and we will make sure to get back to you at the earliest opportunity.

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