How to Keep My Mac From Sleeping

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

Do you find it frustrating when your Mac goes to sleep while you’re in the middle of a task? Whether you’re watching a movie, giving a presentation, or simply want to keep your screen awake, there are several ways to prevent your Mac from sleeping. In this article, we’ll explore some options and provide step-by-step instructions on how to keep your Mac from sleeping.

Using Energy Saver Preferences

If you want to temporarily change your Mac’s sleep settings, the Energy Saver preferences panel is the way to go. To access it, follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Step 2: Select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
  • Step 3: In the System Preferences window, click on “Energy Saver.”

In the Energy Saver preferences panel, you’ll see two tabs: “Battery” and “Power Adapter.” The settings for each tab control how your Mac behaves when running on battery power or connected to a power adapter. Let’s go through some options under each tab:

Battery Tab

If you’re using a MacBook or MacBook Pro without being connected to a power adapter, these settings apply:

  • Sleep slider: Dragging this slider allows you to set the amount of time before your Mac goes to sleep when idle.
  • Turn display off after: Adjusting this slider determines how long it takes for your screen to turn off when not in use.

Power Adapter Tab

If your Mac is connected to a power adapter, these settings will be in effect:

  • Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off: Check this box to keep your Mac awake even when the display is turned off.
  • Turn display off after: Similar to the Battery tab, this slider controls how long it takes for your screen to turn off when not in use.

Using Terminal Commands

If you’re comfortable with using Terminal, there are commands you can enter to prevent your Mac from sleeping. Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Launch Terminal by going to Applications > Utilities > Terminal or by searching for it using Spotlight.
  • Step 2: In the Terminal window, type “caffeinate -i” and press Enter.

The “caffeinate -i” command tells your Mac to stay awake indefinitely until you manually interrupt it by pressing Control + C in the Terminal window. This method is useful if you want to keep your Mac awake for an extended period without having to change any system preferences.

Using Third-Party Apps

If you prefer a more user-friendly approach, there are third-party apps available that provide additional options and customization for keeping your Mac awake. Here are a couple of popular choices:

  • Caffeine: Caffeine is a simple app that sits in your menu bar and allows you to toggle sleep mode on and off with just one click. You can find it on the App Store or various third-party websites.
  • Amphetamine: Amphetamine is a powerful app that offers advanced features like scheduling, hotkey activation, and more.

    It provides extensive control over your Mac’s sleep behavior. You can download it from the App Store.

These apps are great if you want a quick and easy way to keep your Mac awake without diving into system settings or Terminal commands.


Now that you know how to keep your Mac from sleeping, you can ensure uninterrupted work sessions, prevent screen timeouts during presentations, or enjoy movies without interruptions. Whether you choose to adjust Energy Saver preferences, use Terminal commands, or install third-party apps, keeping your Mac awake is a breeze. Experiment with these methods and find the one that works best for your needs.

Remember, it’s essential to allow your Mac to sleep when not in use for extended periods to conserve energy and increase the lifespan of your hardware. However, during those times when you need your Mac to stay awake, these techniques will come in handy.

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