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Putting Your Mac to Sleep

written by: •edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 11/27/2010

Find out how to set time and days for putting your hard drive(s) or Mac to sleep when these are not in use, and wake them up when you want to use them.

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    Why Put Your Mac to Sleep?

    In Mac OS X you’ve a number of options for putting the Mac and its hard drive(s) to sleep when you’re not using them. When a Mac and its hard drive are asleep, they’re still on but at that time they consume a lesser amount of power. It is also much quicker to wake a Mac or hard drive(s) from sleep mode than to restart a Mac when it is completely shut down, hence it is often preferred by people to put a Mac or hard drive to sleep instead of shutting down when not using it.

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    Hard Drives

    If you put your hard drive to sleep, you will not only save energy but also reduce drive’s wear. So, it is always a good idea to put your hard drive to sleep until it is needed. To do this open the System Preferences in Mac OS X then click on Energy Saver icon. Next, click on the Sleep tab then select the “Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" option.

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    Mac

    Many people like to keep their computer on at all times even when they’re not using it. You should be aware that keeping your Mac on and awake consumes unnecessary power. To save power and also the wear, tear of your Mac, Mac OS X gives you a number of options for putting the Mac to sleep:

    • Go to the Energy Saver pane then click on the Sleep tab. Move the bar under “Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for"mac-sleep-options to the desired time interval.

    • Click Options tab on the Energy Saver pane. Select the “Allow power button to sleep the computer" option, whenever you want to put your Mac to sleep, just press the power button. Check the user guide of your Mac to see whether or not this option will work on your computer because this does not work with all Mac models.
    • Click on the Schedule... button at bottom-right corner of the Energy Saver preferences pane, a small dialog box will open. Check off the check box at left of the drop-down menu then select Sleep from the menu. Schedule your Mac to go to sleep at a particular time you want by typing the desired time in the text box in the end of the line. You can select the days for putting the Mac to sleep from the drop-down menu at left of the time text box. You can select any day of the week, all week days, weekends or everyday.

    Image Credit: hawaii.edu

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    Wake

    When you put your Mac to sleep, naturally you will also want a way to wake it up at a later time. Click on the Options tab then select the “Wake for Ethernet network administrator access" option, this applies to Macs connected to a network with Ethernet settings.

    You can schedule your Mac to wake or start up (when switched off) at a set time. Click on the Schedule… button at bottom-right corner of the window, a small dialog box will open. Check off the Start up or wake check box and enter the time in the text box when you want to wake your Mac. Next, click on the drop-down menu at left of the time text box to select the days of the week for starting or waking the Mac.