How to prevent your Mac to sleep

覚醒Awakening
Updated : Sep 01, 2021

Learn how to keep your Mac display and console from sleeping.

In addition to the standard Mac functions, there are other ways to use apps or execute commands in the terminal, but I will explain in detail with illustrations.

 

Mac sleep settings type

There are 3 types of targets that can be set to sleep on a Mac.

Sleep target Display HDD Mac body
① Display
② HDD
③ Mac body

In the sleep setting, you can put it to sleep after a certain period of time or disable sleep.

This page will show you some ways to ban sleep.

In addition, there are the following methods to prohibit sleep for each sleep target.

Sleep
prohibition
target
Prerequisites Method
① Display When you want to prohibit
while using
a specific application
When you want to prohibit
while downloading a file
When you want to set it
as a whole
② HDD
③ Mac body For all Mac models
Sleep prohibited
when the screen is not
closed on MacBook series
Sleep prohibited
even when the screen is
closed on MacBook series

 

A) Use “System Preferences”

To set sleep on Mac, go to “System Preferences”, but there are 2 main patterns.

A)-1. How to set up MacBook series with Thunderbolt 3 after macOS 10.15.5 Catalina

▶ Click the “Battery” icon from “System Preferences”.

Mac "System Preferences"

 

▶ After switching to “Battery”, click the list “Battery” and “Power Adapter” at the bottom left of the screen to set each.

list “Battery”

Mac "System Preferences" - "Battery"

list “Power Adapter”

Mac "System Preferences" - "Battery"

 

▶ The following is a description of each setting item.

Item Description
Turn display off ater
  • Set the time to turn off the display
  • If you set it to “Never” at the right end,
    do not turn off the display
Prevent computer
from sleeping automatically
when the display is off
  • Can be set
    only when the “Power Adapter”
    is driven
  • Put your Mac to sleep
    after a while
    when the display turns off

 

A)-2. Other setting method

The following instructions use screenshots for macOS 10.15 Catalina and MacBook Pro 15 Late 2013.

There are some differences depending on the macOS version and Mac model, but the general configuration is the same.

(In the confirmed range, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later ~ macOS 11.0 Big Sur, it was almost the same.)

▶ Click the “Energy Saver” icon from “System Preferences”.

Mac "System Preferences"

 

▶ After switching to “Energy Saver”, set the required items.

In the case of MacBook series, there are two tabs, “Battery” and “Power Adapter”, at the top of the screen, so set each.

tab “Battery”

Mac "System Preferences" - "Battery"

tab “Power Adapter”

Mac "System Preferences" - "Battery"

 

On the other hand, desktop Macs such as iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro do not have a built-in battery, so only the items corresponding to the MacBook tab “Power Adapter” are displayed.

Also, depending on the macOS version and model, the display sleep may or may not be set.

On desktop Macs, there are no tabs at the top of the screen

Mac "System Preferences" - "Battery"

 

▶ The following is a description of each setting item.

Item Description
Turn display off ater
  • Set the time to turn off the display
  • If you set it to “Never” at the right end,
    do not turn off the display
Put hard disks to sleep
when possivle
  • Put the hard disk to sleep
    if it is not on the hard disks
    for a long time
Prevent computer
from sleeping automatically
when the display is off
  • Can be set
    only when the “Power Adapter”
    is driven
  • Put your Mac to sleep
    after a while
    when the display turns off

 

B) Use multiple sleep control apps

There are various free and paid apps that temporarily prohibit Mac sleep.

Please refer to the articles linked below for comparisons and recommendations of apps.

Introducing 5 Mac apps that temporarily prohibit sleep / change the start time
On Mac, you can set the sleep time as a standard function, but you may want to temporarily disable sleep or change the sleep time. In this article, we actually used an app that meets those needs and compared it.

 

C) Execute command in terminal

Please refer to the article linked below for specific steps.

How to prevent your Mac to sleep when closing lid
The MacBook series automatically goes to sleep when you close the screen, but you may not want to put it to sleep. Here, I will explain in detail the two steps, one using the standard Mac functions and the other using the app, with illustrations.

 

D) Use the app “Amphetamine”

The app “Amphetamine” is a free app despite its extremely versatility.

With some of the things you can do, you can:

  • Ex.① I want to temporarily prohibit sleep, apart from the settings in “System Preferences”.
  • Ex.② I want to ban sleep for a specific time or until a specific time.
  • Ex.③ I want to ban sleep while using certain apps (Music app, Spotify, etc.)
  • Ex.④ I want to ban sleep while downloading files.
  • Ex.⑤ Laptop Mac does not sleep when the screen is closed.

For an introduction to the app and how to use it, see the article linked below.

How to use the Mac sleep control app "Amphetamine"
I will explain how to use the Mac sleep control application "Amphetamine" in an easy-to-understand manner with illustrations. This app is very versatile, but if you master the basic usage first and then learn the detailed usage as needed, you will not get lost.

 

Reference information

This is the end of the article on this page.

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