How to get your MacBook to sleep when you close the lid!

If you are here you’ve probably discovered the complete lack of control Apple gives you around the issue of sleeping with an external monitor plugged in.

Can you get a MacBook Pro to sleep when you close the lid when a power adapter and external monitor is still attached?

Can you get it to stay awake even when you close the lid and it’s unplugged?

The answer is yes and this article explains it all!

Force the MacBook to sleep when you close the lid.

Normally the Mac will sleep when you close the lid. But if you have an external display plugged in and if you are running off external power, the laptop will enter ‘clamshell’ mode when you close the lid, which means it stays awake. There is no way to turn this on or off in Apple settings.

This is a pain when for example you want to sleep your computer to unplug it and move it.

There’s some free software that will do the trick though!

  1. Grab a free piece of software form the App store called ‘Clamshell’ from the Mac App Store

2. Select the option ‘Sleep when Clamshell is Closed’

This will now force your mace to Sleep when you close the lid, even if there is an external display plugged in.

You may wonder why you can’t just choose ‘sleep’? Well there’s some other neat software called ‘Jettison’ which will automatically unmount your external drives when you sleep your Mac. So running ‘Clamshell’ and ‘Jettison’ together means you just close the lid and the external drives are ejected and the computer sleeps, all automatically! Then you can disconnect your dock and take your computer away.

Force the MacBook to stay awake when you close lid and are plugged into power.

It may be that you want your External display to work when you shut your MacBook lid, for example you want to watch a movie on the external display or projector. You have some limited control here. You can do this:

  1. Keep the laptop plugged into Power.
  2. Go into System Settings, Battery, Options…, ‘Prevent automatic sleeping on power adapter when the display is off’
  3. Now the laptop will stay awake of the lid is closed, but only if it’s plugged in to power.

Force the MacBook to stay awake when the lid is closed and it’s running off battery.

It may be that you are trying to watch a movie on a projector, and you are running off a battery. It’s logical that in that scenario you’d want to save power by turning off the display and running of battery. You can’t do it from Apple settings! Here you need some extra software called Amphetamine, also available on the Apple App Store.

  1. Download Amphetamine and run it.

2. Uncheck this box to stop it going to sleep when you shut the lid:

3. Start a new ‘session’

This will now force your laptop to stay awake, even if its unplugged, even if you shut the lid, so you can watch a movie on a projector or external display from battery power.

Summary

The usual behaviour for a MacBook, a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, when you close the lid, is that it goes to sleep. If however you have an external display plugged in, and power is plugged into the laptop, it will stay awake.

Here is the behaviour when you close the lid:

External Power and External Display: will always stay awake.

External Power, no External Display: You can choose stay awake or sleep.

Battery Power and External Display: will always go to sleep when closed.

You can override this behaviour with some apps:

To force it to sleep when closed use “Clamshell”.

To force it to stay awake when closed use “Amphetamine”.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.