Mac Won’t Go to Sleep? Here’s How to Fix This Issue

There can be a number of reasons why your Mac isn't going to sleep; from a disturbance in the energy saver settings to the external device attached to your Mac. Check out how to solve this issue.

When you leave your Mac idle for long, you expect it go into sleep mode. This not just conserves electricity, it prevents the device from heating up as well. However, what if your Mac doesn’t go into sleep mode as it is supposed to?

It is obvious that something is stopping your Mac from going into sleep, but what? Well, this could be due to a simple to solve underlying problems, such as setting error. The solutions that I am about to disclose could be a lifesaver if your Mac is facing this issue.

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How to Fix a Mac That Won’t Sleep

Your Mac won’t automatically go to sleep unless it’s inactive or some setting is stopping it from doing so. Try these basic troubleshooting hacks that will help you to figure out and subsequently solving the issue.

Solution #1: Check The Energy Saver Settings

The most common probability of Mac not going to sleep could be a disturbance in your energy-saving settings.

Step #1. Click on the Apple Icon () and select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

Click on Apple Logo and then click on System Preferences on Mac

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Step #2. Open Energy Saver and carefully study each setting. These settings might be different in your Mac.

Click on the Energy Saver icon in Mac System Preferences

Step #3. The Energy Saver window has two tabs Battery and Power Adapter. Check the display settings in both the tabs.

  • Turn display off after should not be set at never.
  • If Turn display off after option set for a more extended period, it delays the sleep time of your Mac. Correct the settings as per your preference.
  • Uncheck the Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off, in the Power Adaptor Tab.
  • Uncheck the Wake for Wi-Fi network access, in the Power Adaptor Tab.

Uncheck Options in Energy Saver Window on Mac

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Note: The macOS Catalina update has an added feature to the Energy Saver, the Enable Power Nap while on battery power (Under Battery tab) and Enable Power Nap while plugged into a power adaptor (Under Power Adaptor tab). The Power Nap setting will enable your Mac to periodically check for new email, calendar or other iCloud updates during its sleep. In addition, when plugged into a power adaptor and sleeping, Mac could also back up using Time Machine.

Step #4. Click on Schedule from the bottom of the page.

Click Schedule in Energy Saver Window on Mac

Step #5. Ensure that your Mac is not set on a schedule for Wake up. Correct the settings as per your preference.

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Check Settings from Dropdown Menu in Energy Saver Window in MacSometimes, this solution works perfectly but sometimes, this works randomly. In that case, check the next option.

Solution #2: Force Quit an Application on Mac

At times, macOS won’t go to sleep due to some application running in the background. You can simply press Command (⌘) + Option + Esc to check the applications running on your Mac.

Force Quit an Application on Mac

You can either close the app manually or use Force Quit tab on the bottom of the dialogue window to close them. There still might be some internal activities such as iTunes, pending printer jobs, or other external drivers that are stopping Mac from entering sleep mode.

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Solution #3: Use Activity Monitor App to Detect and Stop them

Step #1. Go to Applications → Utilities and open Activity Monitor app or use Spotlight to search the app.

Open Utilities App on Mac

Open Activity Monitor App in Utilites in Mac

Step #2. Click on the Energy tab from the menu options.

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Step #3. The Preventing Sleep column indicates the processes that are preventing the Mac from going to sleep.

Step #4. If there is any Yes in the column, close the corresponding app.

Click Energy Tab and Check Preventing Sleep Column in Utilities on Mac

In case you cannot spot the Preventing Sleep tab then, click on View and select Columns from the menu options. Here select the Preventing Sleep to add in the column section.

Select Preventing Sleep in Mac Activity Monitor App

Solution #4: Stop Bluetooth Devices From Waking Your Mac

Another culprit that your Mac won’t go into sleep mode, might be the Bluetooth devices attached, especially the mouse or keyboard.

Step #1. Click on Bluetooth icon from the menu bar and click on Open Bluetooth Preferences.

Click Bluetooth icon and Open Bluetooth Preferences in Mac

Step #2. In the dialogue box, select Advanced from the bottom of the window.

Select Advanced from in The Window on Mac

Step #3. Here uncheck the Allow Bluetooth Devices To Wake this Computer, from the drop-down options. Click on OK and exit the window.

Allow Bluetooth Devices To Wake This Mac

Solution #5: Use Terminal Command To Find The Issue

You can use the Terminal app to fix MacBook not Going to sleep, as it will help you figure out which setting or app is not allowing Mac to go to sleep.

Step #1. Go to Applications → Utilities and open Terminal app or use Spotlight to search the app.

Open Utilities App on Mac

Open Terminal App in Utilities on Mac

Step #2. In the Terminal app, type this command pmset -g assertions.

Type Command in terminal App on Macl

Step #3. Check the result and look for PreventUserIdleDisplaySleep, PreventSystemSleep and PreventUserIdleSystemSleep.

Check The Result in Terminal App on Mac

Step #4. If any of them has a 1 in front of them, they might be stopping your Mac from sleep.

Step #5. Check under the Listed by owning process option for further details.

Step #6. Look for the option that has a 1 and check which app or setting is causing this.

Step #7. Close the app mentioned.

Solution #6: Reset NVRAM and PRAM

Some display settings are also stored in NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) and resetting NVRAM and PRAM (Parameter RAM) may solve the issue.

That’s all for now!

Signing off…

When a Mac is put to sleep, it enters into a low-power state; wherein the current state is kept in memory, and other parts are shut down. The energy consumption in this state is similar to when your Mac is shut down.

So, even though not sleeping does not affect your Mac’s productivity, it does preserve its battery life and conserves energy when plugged in. In case the options above did not fix the issue, contact Apple.

Check out more hack related to Mac:

Have you faced this issue? What hacks did you use for it? Is there a hack we did not cover? Share your experience with us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram page.

Suraj Padmasalihttps://www.igeeksblog.com/
Suraj is a digital marketing expert on the iGB's team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for iPhone, Apple Watch. Apart from blogging, he likes to work out as much as he can in his gym and love to listening to retro music.
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