How to Change Sleep Time on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Changing the sleep time on a Mac is quite simple. In a nutshell, you’ll be diving into the system preferences to adjust when your computer goes to sleep when it’s not being used. Whether you want to save energy or prevent interruptions during a presentation, adjusting the sleep time can be done in just a few steps.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Sleep Time on Mac

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, it’s important to understand that adjusting the sleep settings on your Mac can help save energy and extend the life of your display. It can also be a key factor in maintaining the security of your device when you’re away from it.

Step 1: Open System Preferences

Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen and select "System Preferences."

Opening system preferences is like entering the control room of your Mac. Here, you can adjust settings to suit your preferences for just about everything.

Step 2: Select Energy Saver

Look for the lightbulb icon and click on "Energy Saver."

In the Energy Saver section, you’ll find all the settings related to power consumption and sleep mode.

Step 3: Adjust the Computer Sleep and Display Sleep Sliders

Move the "Computer Sleep" and "Display Sleep" sliders to your preferred timing.

The computer sleep setting controls when your Mac goes into a low-power mode, while the display sleep setting controls when the screen turns off.

After you complete these steps, your Mac will now sleep according to the new settings you’ve chosen. This means you won’t have to worry about your computer staying on all night or draining the battery too quickly when it’s not in use.

Tips: Optimizing Sleep Time on Mac

  • Consider setting a shorter sleep time when running on battery to conserve energy.
  • Use a longer sleep time when plugged in if you frequently step away from your Mac and want to avoid logging in each time.
  • If you’re giving a presentation, set the sleep time to ‘Never’ to prevent disruptions.
  • Check the box for "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" for additional energy savings.
  • Remember to reset your preferred sleep settings after any updates to your operating system as they can sometimes revert to default settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between computer sleep and display sleep?

Computer sleep puts your entire Mac into a low-power state, while display sleep only turns off the screen but keeps the computer running.

Can I set a different sleep time for when my Mac is plugged in versus running on battery?

Yes, you can set different sleep times for battery and power adapter use in the Energy Saver preferences.

Will changing my sleep settings affect my Mac’s performance?

No, adjusting sleep settings does not affect your Mac’s performance. It only changes how long it takes for your Mac to go into a low-power state when not in use.

Is there a way to prevent my Mac from sleeping altogether?

Yes, you can set the sleep time to ‘Never,’ which will keep your Mac awake indefinitely. However, this is not recommended for long periods as it can wear out your hardware quicker.

Can I create a schedule for my Mac to sleep and wake up?

Yes, within the Energy Saver preferences, you can set a schedule for your Mac to start up or wake and to sleep at specific times.


  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Energy Saver
  3. Adjust the Computer Sleep and Display Sleep Sliders


Adjusting the sleep time on your Mac is an easy task that can have a variety of benefits. It’s all about finding the right balance that works for your usage patterns and energy-saving goals. Remember, a well-rested Mac is a happy Mac, and by setting the optimal sleep time, you can extend the lifespan of your device, save on your electricity bill, and ensure that your Mac is always ready for action when you are. From presentations to movie nights, having control over your Mac’s sleep settings can enhance your overall user experience. So why not take a moment to tweak those settings and make your Mac work even better for you? After all, who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep – even if it’s your computer we’re talking about!