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How to Troubleshoot Mac Won’t Sleep Error?

Many times, Mac users may need to have their devices in sleep mode or wake them up in order to conserve power under certain circumstances. When any laptop or computer goes into the sleep state, it blocks the flow of current or energy to each and every component except the RAM. So, when there is an event like power failure, sleep mode feature helps to resume your Mac as soon as possible without any loss of data. But, a majority of customers are consistently reporting that their Mac won’t sleep even if they have tried to change the device’s settings. In this article, we will discuss a few troubleshooting steps to turn on/off sleep mode for Mac devices. Hence, if you really want to know what to do when Mac doesn’t go to sleep, check this article to know the technical fixes.

Reasons Why Mac Won’t Sleep When it Needs to Enter in Safe Sleep Mode:

When your Mac enters into Safe Sleep state, it is an assurance that the data stored in the device’s main memory will be retained if an unexpected shutdown occurs. However, there are two main conditions when Mac needs to be in Sleep mode. But, before discussing the causes due to which Mac won’t sleep, you need to understand the features of Safe Sleep in Mac. So, let’s discuss a few points first.

Situations When Mac Requires to be in Sleep Mode:

Situation 1

In case, the battery of your Mac drains out completely in Safe mode, the device can shut down safely. If you connect the PC by using a power adapter in this situation, only then it will restart. So, for waking up your device from the sleep state, you can hit the Power button. This will help your Mac to return back to the desktop mode, which it was running already before sleeping. Hence, if you want to resume your work right after turning the PC on after a sudden power failure, Safe Sleep is a recommended state for Mac devices.

Situation 2

There is a special supplemental update 2.0 for Mac OS X device which offers a unique feature to the device. So, with this option, your Mac can automatically enter into Safe Sleep state when it is connected to AC adapter. However, this will occur only when your Mac has been connected for four hours at a stretch. Also, this error occurs especially when there are no ongoing activities from connected external devices to the PC. Sleep mode is also helpful when your Mac is not being busy with any active network activity.

Unfortunately, while activating the Safe Sleep, many users may observe the Mac not sleeping issue at all. So, if you are experiencing this problem, it indicates something is not right with Mac’s settings. Also, there can be a few more causes, due to which Mac won’t go to sleep. Hence, in the following points, we will discuss some issues which can prevent your Mac from going into the sleeping state.

Factors which can Prevent your Mac from Going into Safe Sleep State:

If you notice that Mac not sleeping or not waking up as per your wish, it can be a serious situation. Hence, in order to troubleshoot this problem, you should know what is stopping your Mac to be in sleep mode. So, let’s take a look at the causes that can block your access to make your Mac sleep or wake up.

  1. In some of the Mac devices, a few control tabs or settings may not be enabled for configuring the display. Hence, if the slider switch for ‘Computer sleep’, ‘Turn display off after’ or ‘Display sleep’ is not selected appropriately, your Mac won’t sleep or come out of sleeping state without technical fixes.
  2. If your Mac doesn’t sleep when it is supposed to be, it can be if Energy Saver settings are not properly set. Hence, if your Mac has network activities running on it for a while, it won’t go to sleep until these are inactive. This can include some major tasks like Mac updates or any other programs running in the background.
  3. According to a majority of users, applying certain updates can also disable Safe Sleep feature in Mac. So, if you have recently made any changes like updating Mac or installing any software, Mac won’t go to sleep mode.
  4. Also, look for the screen brightness settings for your Mac which can be the reason why Mac not sleeping. Some customers can also face this issue if they are using an external monitor with their Mac.

Solutions that you can Apply If Your Mac Won’t Sleep:

If your Mac is not responding to your command and not sleeping or waking up, you can apply the following fixes.

Fix 1- Go Through Sleep Settings on your Mac

In order to make sure that your Mac sleeps on receiving the command, you need to check whether the settings are correctly set. Hence, open the ‘System Preferences’ and go to the ‘Hardware’ section.

Then, click on the feature of ‘Energy Saver’ and hit the tab for ‘Schedule’. Now, you need to set a proper time format so that your Mac can enter into the sleep state. So, open the drop-down menu and choose ‘Sleep’ from the list of options.

You need to also mention the time when your device can go to ‘Safe Sleep’ mode beforehand. Finally, click on the ‘OK’ button to save these settings for your device. Then, check whether the problem of Mac not sleeping has been resolved.

Fix 2- Turn Off Devices That Keeps Mac Awake

Sometimes, certain devices like a mouse or keyboard attached to the Mac can wake it up. Hence, if you notice that your Mac is not going into Safe Sleep state, you need to change the Bluetooth settings.

So, to apply this method, open the section of ‘Bluetooth preferences’ and move on to ‘Advanced’. After this, locate the checkbox for ‘Allow Bluetooth devices to wake the computer’ and untick it. This will fix the Mac won’t sleep error and ultimately your Mac device will be in sleep mode.

Fix 3- Remove External Devices and Reset SMC

Another great way to fix sleep setting problem in Mac is by disconnecting external devices connected to it. So, this includes printer, router or USB drive, which can turn off sleep mode for Mac. However, if the problem persists and Mac won’t go to sleep, try to reset your device’s SMC (System Management Controller). But make sure that you apply the following steps for Mac with a non-removable battery.

To apply this method, you need to click on the ‘Apple menu’ and then hit the tab for ‘Shut Down’.  When the Mac shuts down completely, you will have to use the built-in keyboard and hit Shift, Control and Options buttons.

Also, press your device’s Power button while doing this and keep it for 10 seconds. After the time is up, release all these buttons and once again hit the power tab to switch on your Mac.

However, if you want to resolve sleep settings on Mac desktop by resetting SMC, the steps are a bit different. So, if you have an iMac, Xserve, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini device, you can try the following steps to make your Mac sleep again.

Open the Apple menu and press the ShutDown button. After shutting down your device, remove the power cord from it and wait for 15-20 seconds.

Then, connect the power plug back into your Mac and hit the Power button after 5-10 seconds. Hopefully, when your device turns on this time, you can make your Mac sleep again.
In case, your Mac won’t sleep even after applying the technical fixes discussed in this article, then it’s time to take help from experts. Hence, you can reach out to a Mac technician and get appropriate solutions to make your device sleep or wake as per your requirements.