Setting Energy Saving Preferences

Setting Energy Saving Preferences

Energy Saver on Mac controls the processes during the inactivity time. Use this pane to put your machine to sleep, spin down hard drives, turn off the display, or anything else to save energy. It is extremely helpful in journeys when you need your MacBook to work longer from its battery. By the way, these preferences also allow managing UPS.

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Sleep Mode on Mac

Before adjusting the Energy Saver pane, let’s connect the dots on what is the sleep mode on Mac.

All Macs

  • The processor can go into this mode to lower its energy consumption.
  • The video output turns off as well. Displays connected to your Mac will become idle and show the black screen.
  • The hard drive stops working. If you use a third-party drive, it may continue spinning, as not all of them support the energy saving mode.

Portable Macs

  • The card slot stops working as well as any plugged in devices.
  • The built-in modem, the Ethernet port, AirPort cards stop functioning if allowed by Energy Saver’s optional settings.
  • Audio inputs and outputs disabled.
  • The optical drive turns off.
  • Keyword’s illumination disabled.
  • All USB ports are turned off.
  • Configuring Energy Saver is the same on Macs and MacBooks.


Setting up Energy Saver

  • Go to ‘System Preferences’ from the Dock or the Apple menu.
  • Select ‘Energy Saver’ in the ‘Hardware’ section.
  • You now can set the preferences. Let’s see how everything is done.

Setting Up the Sleep Time

These preferences can be applied to the battery, power adapter, and UPS (if you have one). You can configure each of them separately to achieve the best energy usage on your Mac.

Here is how to set up Mac’s sleep time:

  1. Visit a drop-down menu named ‘Settings for’ and select the source of power which you want to configure. For example, let it be the power adapter.
  2. The next step depends on your MacOS version. As an option, you may see the ‘Optimization’ menu with 4 variants: Normal, Better energy savings, Better performance, Custom. The first 3 ones are automatic, to continue changing preferences, select ‘Custom’.
  3. Visit the ‘Sleep’ tab.
  4. Adjust the slider however you need. The time depends only on you. Remember that if you set it low, your Mac or MacBook will fall asleep often, if you put it high, it will work constantly and spend more energy. You can also select ‘Never’ and your mac won’t ever enter the Sleep mode. For example, going to sleep after 15-20 min of inactivity is perfect (to my mind).

How to set the sleep time for display:

Before we start, I’d like to remind that overlapping of the screen saver time by the display sleep time can cause troubles. This point is important for Macbook users, as screen eats the most of energy while being away of a power outlet.

  1. Adjust the slider near ‘Put the display(s) to sleep…’ as you want. This slider can’t be set for a longer time than the time of putting a whole Mac to sleep. You can set the time before the time of screen saver turns on. For example, mine is set to 10 mins.
  2. If you usually use a screen saver, the pane will display an additional button where you can configure screensaver preferences.

How to make your hard drives sleep:

Spinning them down or turning off can save energy. This makes sense if you have several drives and need just one of them for your activities. For instance, if you’re writing a long text, no disk activity is needed, so you can easily turn them off. However, it often takes some time for hard drives to wake up and that can be annoying.

If you decided to make Mac’s hard drives sleep, put a mark near the option ‘Put the hard disks to sleep when possible’.


Options of Energy Saver

Except for everything mentioned above, the pane has additional options you can use.

  1. Go to the ‘Options’ tab.
  2. ‘Wake from sleep’ one depends on your machine’s model and can configure both the Ethernet sleep mode and the modem settings. You can set your Mac to wake up as soon as some of this ports show activity. You can check mark them.
  3. If you have a desktop Mac, you can allow your power button to make machine sleep. So, one push on the button will make your Mac enter the sleep mode, holding the button down will turn it off.
  4. If you are a Macbook user, you should notice the option allowing to reduce screen brightness before entering the sleep mode so you can see that your machine is going to pause its work.
  5. You can optionally select restarting your Mac after power failures. I don’t recommend turning this feature on, as usually there is another power failure after the first one.


How to set a UPS

Your Mac will display this option if you have a working UPS.

  1. Go to the ‘Settings for’ and choose UPS from the list.
  2. Visit the ‘UPS’ tab and select the most suitable option. Your Mac will turn off following the instructions from this tab.
  3. Adjust the slider for each option.


Scheduling your Mac’s work

If you need your Mac to turn on for every working day, set it up in this pane. You can do the same to its sleep time, if necessary.

  1. Click on the ‘Schedule’ button.
  2. Select the option you need: ‘wake’ or ‘shutdown time’.
  3. If you need to set a wake or startup time, put a checkmark in the relevant box, select a day and time from the dropdown menu, click ‘OK’.
  4. If you need to schedule the sleep, restart, or shutdown time, put a mark in the second box. Select days and a certain time when you need your Mac to sleep, shut down or restart and click ‘OK’.