Got a project to do or want to stream a movie from iTunes to your Apple TV without it going to sleep on you? Give your Mac an espresso shot and keep it awake until you decide to stop pumping it full of caffeine.

keep mac from sleeping awake dimming caffeine


Caffeine is a free app available from the App Store. It does one simple thing, keep your Mac awake. It sits in the menu bar and prevents your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen and even from starting the screen saver.

To activate it, simply right-click (control click) on the menu bar icon and select “Active for”, then select the amount of time you’d like to have caffeine keep your screen on and drives running.

When you have your desired amount of time selected you can simply left click on the menu bar icon to turn it off and on. Of course there is also an option to have Caffeine automatically to start-up when you start your computer up.


stop mac from sleeping macbook

Energy Setttings

Now lets say you have your iTunes library on an external hard drive, you don’t want your computer to go to sleep while you’re watching a movie on your Apple TV because that will shut off your movie. Luckily there is a simple way around it. Go to your system preferences and click on Energy Saver. De-select “put hard disks to sleep when possible”. What this will do is turn your Mac’s screen off while keeping your hard drive awake so you can continue watching your movie.

A good tip is to have power settings are set for 1 minute, that way Caffeine puts your Mac to sleep when you left click the menu bar icon. I personally usually have Caffeine set to indefinitely, my display set to sleep after a minute, hard drive set to 5 minutes, and simply turn Caffeine off when I want my computer to sleep.

Interested in keeping your Macbook awake and running even after you’ve closed to lid? Keep laptop awake even when lid is closed