Is your Mac experiencing an extended sugar rush? You might notice that it’s suddenly not going to sleep when you close the lid. The Apple logo on your MacBook continues to glow and you can see light leak from underneath the lid to indicate that the display is still on.
There are a number of factors that could contribute to your MacBook staying awake when it shouldn’t be. If it’s a software or third-party accessory problem, you can probably fix it yourself. If it’s a hardware problem, it might need a somewhat pricey repair. Either way, let’s walk through the options.
Reset the SMC
The System Management Controller deals with lights, power, performance and more in your MacBook. Something that’s gone awry within the SMC could be responsible for your Mac refusing to go to sleep when you close the lid.
If you think a reset of the SMC might be in order to fix the problem, it’s quick and painless to your computer. First, shut down your MacBook and plug in your power adapter. Hold down Shift, Control, Option and Power keys at the same time and then release them all at the same time. Turn your computer back on.
Stop Mac From Automatically Sleeping. Follow the steps below to stop Mac from automatically sleeping, whenever it is left unattended. Click on the Apple Icon from the top menu bar on your Mac and then click on System Preferences option in the drop-down menu. On the System Preferences screen, click on Energy Saver. I just bought the new MacBook Pro, and whenever I'm downloading something and close the lid, if I come back and unlock my Mac, the download will have stopped. This never used to happen to my 2013 MacBook Pro, so I'm going to guess that I changed something, or installed an app to prevent this, but I'm not sure what it was. I had the same problem on my new Macbook Pro, it drained about 30-40% in only 6 hours while sleeping. The problem in my case was iCloud. I have the desktop and documents folders synced (I think most users have this because its the default setting) but the cloud storage was full since my folders contain alot of large files. It's pretty logical for your MacBook to sleep when you close its lid, but under certain circumstances, you may not necessarily want this feature to kick in. Personally, I'd prefer my MacBook's lid to be closed while relaxing and listening to music. Also, I don't like having to enter my password in after momentarily packing up my laptop to go to the next room or local coffee shop (even though I.
Use your Mac normally for a few minutes, then close the lid to see if it falls asleep. If it worked, congratulations, you can stop here. If not, fear not, there are a few more options.
Reset the NVRAM (or PRAM)
There’s one more thing you should try resetting that shouldn’t affect your Mac in any way. It’s the non-volatile random-access memory, which can deal with issues involving power. On older Macs, it’s called PRAM.
Either way, to reset it, turn off your Mac. Get those fingers ready for new placement while it’s off. Then, turn your Mac back on and when the display turns on, press and hold Command, Option, P and R. When the computer restarts itself let go.
Let the computer boot up, then use it normally. After a few minutes, test closing the lid again. If your Mac still isn’t falling asleep, try option number three.
Check for Hidden Applications Using Power
You might not know it, but some applications or services that are running silently in the background might be preventing your Mac from going to sleep. To find out if this is the case and which application is causing the insomnia, there’s a simple Terminal command.
Open Terminal from your Applications folder (usually in the Utilities subfolder) or by typing “Terminal” in Spotlight Search. Then type in this command: pmset -g assertions. Hit Enter on your keyboard.
You’ll see a long list of system-wide “assertions” and a corresponding number. “1” is the equivalent of on or true and “0” is the equivalent of off or false. Check out a few of the entries about sleep like “PreventUserIdleDisplaySleep” and see note which number it has.
If you notice that the system does indicate something is preventing the computer from sleeping, scroll down to the second section labeled “Listed by owning process.” Here you can see which tasks or applications, if any, are preventing sleep.
Armed with this knowledge, you can go to those applications and quit them or stop any tasks. Then try closing the lid.
It Could Be Hardware, Let a Genius Help You Out
If your MacBook still won’t go to sleep when you close the lid, it’s probably a hardware problem at this point. If you don’t have AppleCare, you aren’t going to be too happy with the price.
When you bring your MacBook to the Genius Bar at your local Apple Store, Apple sends it out for any and all repairs whether you want them fixed or not and charges a flat repair fee. This varies from location to location.
This ultimately ended up being the case with my MacBook and the repair fee was $280. I couldn’t justify paying that for such a small issue, so as a few other damages accumulated I finally brought it in so they could all get fixed in one round. That’s your best bet.Tip: It’s not too bad living with a MacBook that doesn’t sleep on its own. If you don’t want to pay for a hardware fix, just be sure to press the Power button on your keyboard to put it to sleep manually before you close the lid.
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You may want to keep Mac from sleeping when you are downloading big files, performing Time Machine backup, rendering a video file, and in other similar situations. Doing this is easy. You can use the macOS System Preferences, use third-party apps, or use the Terminal. But what if you want to prevent MacBook from sleeping even when you close its lid?
Well, this is also quick and easy. There are two straightforward ways to keep the MacBook from sleeping with lid closed. First is to use an external display, and the second method requires a third-party app. Let us dig in and see both.
Keep MacBook from Sleeping Using an External Display
Things you required: An external display or projector, wired or wireless mouse and keyboard, and charging adapter.
- Plug in the charging adapter to your MacBook
- Connect (or pair) an external mouse and keyboard
- Connect a monitor or projector to your MacBook
- If you use wireless mouse and keyboard, click on the Apple logo → System Preferences.
- Click on Bluetooth.
- Now, click on Advanced.
- Make sure tick the box for Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer and then click on OK.
- You will see your MacBook’s screen on the external display. Go ahead and close the MacBook’s lid.
Now, the screen on the external monitor may flash or even turn off. To fix this, press any key on the connected keyboard or shake your mouse. The screen will turn back on.
Note: In step 1, I asked you to connect your MacBook to a power source. But if you have a compatible monitor like the LG UltraFine 5K, then there is no need to do so as it will also simultaneously charge your MacBook with the same single cable.
Prevent MacBook from Sleeping Using InsomniaX App
This is the simplest and the quickest method to keep your MacBook awake even if you close the lid.
- Download InsomniaX on your Mac. (2.6 MB)
- Locate the downloaded file and double click to uncompress it
- You will see InsomniaX.app. Double click to open it. Select OpenTip: Drag the app from the Downloads folder to the Applications folder.
- Click on Agree.
- From the top menu bar, click on the InsomniaX app icon and finally click on Disable Lid Sleep. Enter your MacBook’s password if asked.
- To check that the app really works: Open Music app or YouTube and play a song. Now, close your MacBook’s lid. You will find that the song keeps playing even with the lid closed!
- To stop: Follow the above steps and click on Disable Lid Sleep
- If you face problems:Force Quit the app, restart the Mac, and try again
That’s all, folks!
These were the two simplest ways to keep your portable Mac from sleeping with its lid closed. Which method excites you the most? For me, it is the second one. Share your opinion in the comments down below. If you have an alternative to the InsomniaX app, please mention that too.
Before you go, see these tips to improve battery life on MacBook.
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Suraj is a digital marketing expert on the iGB's team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for iPhone, Apple Watch. Apart from blogging, he likes to work out as much as he can in his gym and love to listening to retro music.
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