How to stop your Mac from going to sleep

what to know

  • Click the Apple logo > System Preferences > Energy Saver and move the slider to Never .
  • To temporarily disable automatic sleep: Open a terminal and enter the command caffeined .
  • When your Mac is in caffeinated mode, it won't automatically hibernate until you close the Terminal window.

This article explains how to prevent your Mac from going to sleep, including instructions for scheduling an automatic sleep time after setting the screen to always on.

Your Mac has many power-saving features, including sleep mode. This mode is designed to activate when your Mac has not been used for a while. The screen turns off and your Mac enters a low-power mode until you wake it up. If you want your Mac screen to stay on all the time, you'll need to disable sleep mode entirely.

You can also increase the amount of time your Mac screen stays on without disabling sleep mode entirely. Just set a time you feel comfortable with in step four below.

Here's how to keep your Mac's screen always on:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the upper right corner of the screen.

  2. Click System Preferences .

  3. Click Energy Saver .

  4. Click the slider and move it to Never , all the way to the right.

  5. Now, your Mac's screen will always stay on unless you manually select Sleep from the Apple menu.

It can be annoying to have your Mac's screen turn off during an important task just because you haven't touched your keyboard or mouse in a while, but turning off sleep mode entirely can result in more power usage and excessive wear and tear on your system. If you just want to make sure your Mac screen doesn't turn off while you're performing important tasks, you can use Terminal commands to do this.

Here's how to keep your Mac screen open using Terminal commands:

  1. Open the macOS Terminal application.

    Type Terminal in Spotlight, or open it in Finder via Applications > Utilities > Terminal .

  2. Types of caffeine .

  3. Press Enter .

  4. As long as the terminal window remains open, your Mac screen will remain unchanged.

  5. To disable caffeinated mode, click Terminate on the alert that appears when you try to close the terminal window.

  6. After successfully closing the Terminal window, your Mac will enter sleep mode again based on your energy saving settings.

For environmental and cost-saving reasons, your Mac automatically goes to sleep to save power. The automatic sleep timer is on by default, so if your Mac doesn't receive any input for a few minutes, it will automatically go to sleep unless you change the power-saving settings. Sleep mode should be disabled whenever you're watching or listening to media, but that's not always the case.

If you find that your Mac automatically goes to sleep while watching movies or listening to music, you may need to use the methods above to increase the time before entering sleep mode or turn off the auto-sleep feature entirely.

Although your Mac is designed to automatically sleep when you're not using it, you can also schedule your Mac to automatically sleep at specific intervals if you want. This feature is useful if you want to disable the Auto-Sleep feature entirely but still put your Mac into sleep mode at times of the day when you don't normally use it, such as when you go to bed at night.

Here's how to schedule your Mac to sleep automatically:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner and select Preferences .

  2. Click Energy Saver .

  3. Click Schedule .

  4. Click the Sleep checkbox.

  5. Click Everyday and select Weekdays , Weekends , Every Day , or a specific day of the week.

  6. Click 12:00 AM , and then select the time you want your Mac to enter sleep mode.

  7. Your Mac will now automatically sleep at the time and date you selected.