By default, macOS is designed for maximum energy efficiency. It tries to conserve as much energy as possible to extend your battery life. So, when you stop using your Mac for a certain amount of time, it will automatically go to sleep.
Adjusting the energy settings for each small task is impractical. For example, you don’t want your monitor or PC to go to sleep during a presentation, while viewing real-time stats, or downloading a large file. So, we are going to show you some ways to stop your Mac from going to sleep and keep it awake when you need it.
1. Energy Saver Preferences
macOS has built-in energy-saving tools that can customize how long your computer should wait before turning off the screen and going to sleep. To adjust these energy-related settings, open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences> Energy Saver or Battery.
For MacBooks, the Battery tab controls how your Mac behaves while the Power Adapter tab controls its behavior when plugged in. In the pop-up window that appears, drag the Turn off monitor slider to Never and tap OK.
When you select Optimize Battery Charging in System Preferences > Battery, macOS intelligently chooses when to charge more than 80% to help keep your battery healthy in the long term.
You can set the display setting to Never, but make sure to restore it to the default state. If you always keep the display on, your battery life will suffer and you may need to replace the battery earlier than usual.
For desktop Mac models like the iMac or Mac mini, you won’t have separate tabs, but you’ll have almost identical controls, including a pair of sliders that control the sleep time of your computer and monitor. Also, select Prevent the computer from automatically sleeping when the display is turned off.
KeepingYouAwake is a menu bar application based on the caffeinate command line tool designed to prevent your desktop Mac or MacBook from sleeping. It is a suitable alternative to the now-defunct Caffeine application. The app lets you choose from several preset options, including keeping your Mac awake for 5, 10, 15, or 30 minutes.
After installation, control Click on the menu bar icon, select the activation duration> indefinitely or for a certain period of time. You can add your custom presets and choose to automatically deactivate the app when the battery drops below a certain threshold. When you connect an external screen to your Mac, you can also activate the app automatically.
Download: KeepingYouAwake (Free)
3. Sleep Control Centre
Sleep Control Center is probably the only app that gives you fine-grained control over whether sleep is allowed or blocked in various states or conditions. At its most basic, the app keeps your Mac awake under specific working conditions.
The icons in the status bar show the current status: If you see an open eye in the menu bar, it means that your Mac won’t go into sleep mode.
In system sleep mode, the display turns off, but the system continues to work. When you close the lid of your laptop, your Mac will automatically sleep. You can set a timer from a list of predefined sessions to configure the sleep mode to your liking.
You can also choose to activate the application on different events. For example, when you’re giving a speech when you’re connecting an external disk, when the battery reaches a critical level, and so on. Or when connected to a power adapter, even if you close the laptop lid can prevent sleep. You can also set a hot corner action to activate the app, fade the display, start the screensaver, lock the screen, or disable sleep.
While the app has comprehensive parameters and predefined conditions, the lengthy menu structure makes the interface intricate. You need some time to figure out all the options and decide what works best.
Download: Sleep Control Center ($5.99, free trial available)
Amphetamine is a practical application that can stop your Mac from sleeping for a certain amount of time or in certain situations that you define. The application is based on the principle of “session”. To get started, control-clicking on the menu bar icon and selecting a default duration (the default setting is indefinite).
Alternatively, you can choose a scenario to make sure that your Mac runs until the task is completed. For example, when you run a specific application to monitor a task, download a file, or transfer data to an external drive.
The app provides you with a powerful set of configuration options. Go to Preferences and customize the app to suit your needs. You can create a trigger by defining a set of criteria. Navigate to “Triggers” > “Preferences” and tick “Enable Triggers”. Give your standard a name and click the plus (+) button. From the list that appears, select an option and continue.
You can bind several triggers together for a more specific workflow.
Since app store apps are sandboxed, it can’t get a list of every app and process running on your Mac. Amphetamine Enhancer is an accessibility tool that enables you to use all running processes with triggers and application-based sessions. The app lets you customize the look, change notification parameters, view statistics on sleep patterns, and much more.
Download: Amphetamine (Free)
Wimoweh is a powerful application that provides a detailed view of the process and power assertions created by the system to prevent sleep. This feature is built into macOS, where any application can invoke power assertion if they need to prevent the system from going to sleep.
If your Mac stays awake in situations you don’t want, use this app to find rogue processes. Learn about your progress with our activity monitoring guide.
The app can prevent your Mac from sleeping by choosing different criteria. You can set a timer, create a schedule for each process for the duration, or select a service on another machine that is running, such as SMB or SSH.
To get started, browse through the list of applications with two checkboxes. Tick “Prevent system sleep” to make sure your Mac doesn’t sleep while the app is running, and tick “Allow the display to sleep” to specify whether the monitor will sleep to save energy.
Download: Wimoweh ($1.99)
Pay attention to the warning signs of your Mac
Your Mac should not go to sleep while you are completing a task. The applications mentioned above will keep your Mac awake and configure the standby time exactly to your liking.
But sometimes, your Mac may face a unique set of issues. It can happen that your machine goes to sleep too quickly or stays awake all the time. If this happens to you, check your logs and keep a record before it becomes a major issue.