Mac Won't Go to Sleep [7 Proven Ways to Fix It]

Brithny updated on Jan 11, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

Do you turn your Mac to sleep mode while not using it? That is an excellent way to save energy without turning off the system. Mac in sleep mode means the system is on but consumes less power than usual. Besides, it takes less time for the device to wake up than when you turn it on.

If you are not using your Mac for a few minutes, the better alternative is to put it in sleep mode and lock Mac screen. Shutting it off will require you to turn it on, which will take longer. Moreover, you don't have to worry about glitches or errors that might occur during the startup phase.

However, several users have reported that the sleep mode on Mac is not working properly, so the Mac won't go to sleep. That means some factors prevent the system from going to sleep mode or waking up.

Here are practical ways to fix the Mac won't go to sleep error:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Correct Sleep Settings Go to the Apple logo. Select System Preferences from the drop-down, and choose Energy Saver...Full steps
Fix 2. Stop Bluetooth Devices Waking Up Mac Go to the Apple logo, select System Settings/System Preferences, and choose Bluetooth...Full steps
Fix 3. Check Sharing Preferences Select System Settings from the drop-down menu, and choose General from the left side...Full steps
Fix 4. Check Activity Monitor to Find Problematic Apps Go to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Go to the CPU tab. Look at the list of apps...Full steps
Other Practical Fixes Disconnect peripherals, stop Spotlight indexing files, and reset NVRAM/PRAM and SMC...Full steps

Mac Won't Go to Sleep: Possible Causes

Is your MacBook Pro/Air refusing to go to sleep mode? Several Mac users have reported the Mac not going to sleep problem. To understand the solutions, knowing more about the causes is vital. Here are the main causes that stop Mac from sleeping:

  • ⚙️System sleep settings: This error will occur if the sleep settings are modified or changed on macOS. You must check the settings to ensure the sleep mode is enabled.
  • 📶Network access settings: If you use a shared network, another user might wake up your Mac remotely. Shared resources can lead to this issue; you need to change the Network access settings to handle this.
  • 🔗Sharing settings: Using shared services on the system can interfere with the sleep mode. For instance, using the printer connected to your device can wake up the device.
  • 📊Activity Monitor: If processes run in the background, they can prevent the Mac from entering Sleep mode. You must check the Activity Monitor(Mac Task Manager) to see if any process uses an expectedly high CPU.

Solutions to Fix Mac Won't Go to Sleep

Multiple solutions can help fix Mac won't go to sleep error. Applying these fixes will help you resolve the problem. To help you out, we have attached a video.

  • 00:32 - Go to Energy Saver and set the time
  • 00:56 - Check for apps that prevent Mac from sleeping
  • 01:41 - Check if Bluetooth is preventing Mac from sleeping
  • 02:13 - Check and clear the printing queue

Fix 1. Correct Sleep Settings

It is vital to understand that the Mac sleeps automatically after a certain amount of time passes. If that doesn't happen, then chances are something is wrong with the sleep settings.

The simplest solution to fix the Mac won't go to sleep is to check the sleep settings. For that, here are the steps to follow:

Step 1. Go to the Apple logo.

Step 2. Select "System Preferences" from the drop-down.

Open Energy Saver

Step 3. Choose "Energy Saver" or "Battery".

Step 4. Here, set the time for "Computer Sleep and Display Sleep".

Note: Ensure Computer Sleep and Display Sleep are not set to Never. You will not find Energy Saver Settings if you have updated your Mac to macOS Ventura.

macOS Ventura WindowServer Prevents from Sleeping

How to Fix macOS Ventura WindowServer Prevents from Sleeping [10 Available Solutions]

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Fix 2. Stop Bluetooth Devices Waking Up Mac

You might not be aware, but Bluetooth settings allow the waking up of the Mac. For instance, using the mouse or keyboard via Bluetooth will wake up the system. To fix that, you need to check out these steps:

Step 1. Go to the Apple logo.

Step 2. Select "System Preferences/System Settings".

Step 3. Choose "Bluetooth".

Select Bluetooth Device

Step 4. Click "Advanced".

Step 5. You must uncheck the option "Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer".

Note: You will find this option if your system is not updated to macOS Ventura.

Fix 3. Check Sharing Preferences

Mac allows users to share resources such as printers, hard disks, etc. However, that can also lead to interference with the sleep mode. To handle that, you must disable the sharing preferences.

Take a look at these steps:

Step 1. Go to the Apple logo.

Step 2. Select "System Preferences/System Settings" from the drop-down menu.

Open System Settings

Step 3. Choose "General" from the left side, followed by "Sharing" on the right-hand settings.

Open Sharing Settings

Step 4. Here, you must deselect the services you don't need.

Turn off Sharing

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Fix 4. Check Activity Monitor to Find Problematic Apps

Several apps use CPU much more than others. Apart from utilizing most resources, these apps can prevent the Mac from going to sleep mode. You can use the Activity Monitor to locate these apps and force quit them.

To do that, here are the steps:

Step 1. Open "Activity Monitor". To do so, follow "Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor".

Open Activity Monitor

Step 2. When Activity Monitor opens, go to the CPU tab. Look at the list of the apps and note the ones that use too much CPU.

Step 3. Select the app.

Step 4. Go to the cross icon at the top-left corner.

Close app from Activity Monitor

Step 5. Select "Quit" or "Force Quit".

Quit Apps

Note that forcing quit an application may cause data loss on your Mac. For example, forcing quit a frozen Word document may lost changes made to it. In this case, the quickest way to restore the document is to use a professional data recovery tool, such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

With the trusted Mac data recovery software, you can recover files on Mac after shutdown suddenly with a few clicks. Follow the steps below:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac and choose the hard drive, SSD, SD card, USB flash drive, or TF card where you lost data. Click "Search for lost files" to start scanning.

select a location and click search for lost files

Step 2. The software will automatically scan for lost data on MacBook/iMac. When the scan completes, filter wanted data through the "Type" and "Path" buttons.

filter lost files in types

Step 3. Double-click a file to preview it. Then, click the "Recover" button to restore the lost data to another place.

Fix 5. Disconnect Peripherals

Another simple solution to the Mac won't sleep is to disconnect external peripherals. Sometimes, issues with the peripherals connected can create this problem. In that case, you need to disconnect them. The best way is to disconnect them one by one so that you can ascertain which one is causing the issue. After that, you need to replace the damaged peripheral.

Fix 6. Stop Spotlight Indexing Files

It is without a doubt that Spotlight is one of the best features of Mac. Users opt for this feature to locate files, open apps, and more. However, If Spotlights continues to index files on the internal drive, the device cannot go to sleep. If there are many files to index, it may even take hours.

To prevent Spotlight from indexing files, you must follow these steps:

Step 1. Open "Terminal".

Step 2. Type - sudo mdutil -i off.

Stop Spotlight indexing

Step 3. Hit "Return".

Fix 7. Reset NVRAM/PRAM and SMC

Lastly, you can try resetting NVRAM/PRAM and SMC to see if the Mac not going to sleep mode gets fixed. Take a look at the steps to be followed to reset NVRAM/PRAM:

Step 1. Shut off the device.

Step 2. Press the power button.

Step 3. Press the "Command + Option + P + R" keys simultaneously.

Step 4. Release the keys when you hear the startup sound twice.

In the case of T2-based Macs, you can release the keys when you see the Apple logo appear and disappear twice.

Check out the steps to reset SMC on T2-based Macs:

Step 1. Shut off the device.

Step 2. Press and hold the power button.

Step 3. Restart the system.

Step 4. If it doesn't work, shut down the system.

Step 5. Press and hold the left "Option" key, right "Shift" key, and left "Control" key.

Step 6. Press and hold the power button at the same time.

Step 7. Release all the keys, and restart the device.


Putting it into Sleep mode is the best idea if you are not working on your Mac for the next few hours. However, several causes can prevent the Mac from going to sleep. These include wrong sleep settings, shared network access settings, etc. Knowing more about the causes will help you apply the right solutions.

To resolve the error, you can apply multiple solutions. For starters, you can check the sleep settings. You can also check Bluetooth settings or the shared access settings. But pay attention that suddenly shut-down applications may cause data loss; try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

Mac Won't Go to Sleep FAQs

To learn more about Mac won't go to sleep, check out these questions and answers listed below:

1. Why does my Mac not go to sleep when I close it?

Multiple reasons explain why the Mac doesn't sleep when you close it. These could be apps using too many resources, system errors, damaged external peripherals, wrong sleep settings, etc.

2. How do I force my Mac to sleep?

You must click on the Apple logo and choose the "Sleep" option from the drop-down to force your MacBook to sleep.

3. Why is my Mac going to sleep but still running?

Your Mac has gone to sleep and is yet running because that is normal. In the sleep mode, the Mac runs but uses considerably less power. It also drains a little of the network and can easily be woken if you need to work.

4. How do I make my Mac stay on and not sleep?

You should go to "Energy Saver" from "System Preferences" to make your Mac stay on and not sleep. From there, you can change the time of "Computer Sleep and Display Sleep to Never".

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

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