- To keep your Mac from sleeping, change the Energy Saver settings in System Preferences.
- You can disable sleep mode temporarily by running the “caffeinate” command in Terminal.
- Scheduling your Mac’s sleep cycle also helps you control when it sleeps or remains awake.
Your Mac’s sleep and Energy Saver functions are invaluable, especially if you’re using a laptop and most especially if you’re running on battery power.
But whether you’re using a desktop or a laptop, it’s useful to know how to manage your Mac’s energy settings, lest you find yourself frustrated when your computer’s Wi-Fi goes off in the middle of downloading a favorite TV show from iTunes because your Mac went to sleep.
Here’s a quick guide to managing your Mac’s sleep settings as well as scheduling your computer’s sleep and wake times.
How to keep your Mac from going to sleep
1. Click the Apple logo on the top-left corner of your screen, and select System Preferences.
2. Click on Battery in System Preferences..
3. From here, you’ll see the Battery and Power Adapter (for when your computer is plugged in) options on the left side menu. Both have the same slider allowing you to set sleep times from anywhere between one minute to three hours or simply Never.
4. If you want to keep your Mac from sleeping, period, select Never on both the Power Adapter and Battery tabs.
Quick tip: You’ll also want to check Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when display is turned off in the Power Adapter settings if you’re the kind of person who likes to turn down the brightness on their screen when not using it but doesn’t necessarily want the computer going to sleep.
How to disable sleep mode temporarily on Mac using Terminal
If you don’t want to turn off sleep mode indefinitely, you can use the “caffeinate” Terminal command to disable it temporarily. Your computer will remain awake as long as you don’t close the Terminal window when you run the command.
1. In the Dock, click on the Finder icon.
2. Click Applications on the left side menu.
3. Scroll down until you locate the Utilities folder and double-click to open it.
4. Double-click the Terminal icon to open the Terminal window.
5. Type caffeinate in the Terminal window and hit the Return key to run the command – don’t close the windows afterward.
How to schedule sleep on your Mac
Finally, macOS X also allows you to schedule your computer’s sleep cycles. Here’s how.
1. Click the Apple logo on the top-left corner of your screen, and select System Preferences..
2. Click on Battery in System Preferences.
3. Click Schedule on the left side menu of the Battery settings in the System Preferences window.
4. Check the two checkboxes and set a wake up time.
5. Do the same with selecting a sleep time.
Quick tip: You can also select the frequency at which your Mac follows your sleep/wake schedules, from specific days to every day – or just on weekends.
How to use other sleep settings on a Mac
Besides disabling sleep mode in the Energy Saver settings menu, there are a few other settings that can affect sleep mode that you should know about.
“Put hard disks to sleep when possible”
If you have a hard disk on your Mac, checking this spins down your hard drive at the earliest possible convenience to save power. This also means that if your Mac has been inactive it could take a minute to get going again as the disk spins up.
Note: This option only applies to Macs that have spinning hard drives and not solid-state drives (SSDs). Since SSDs are solid-state, there’s nothing to “spin down” in the first place.
“Enable Power Nap while on battery power”
If you don’t want to keep the computer fully “awake,” this setting will allow the computer to periodically wake up and perform tasks like checking email and looking for software updates. A handy compromise.
“Wake for Wi-Fi network access”
This setting wakes the computer when someone wants to access file sharing on it – say if you have a household shared iTunes library.