The Energy Saver preferences pane contains settings that can be applied to the AC power adapter, battery, and UPS, if present. Each item can have its own unique settings, which lets you tailor your Mac’s energy use and performance based on how your Mac is being powered.
Setting Computer Sleep Time
- Use the ‘Settings for’ dropdown menu to select the power source (Power Adapter, Battery, UPS) to use with the Energy Saver settings. (If you only have one power source, you won’t have a dropdown menu.) This example is for the Power Adapter settings.
- Depending on the version of OS X you are using, you may have an Optimization dropdown menu that contains four options: Better Energy Savings, Normal, Better Performance, and Custom. The first three options are preconfigured settings; the Custom option allows you to manually make changes. If the dropdown menu is present, select ‘Custom.’
- Select the ‘Sleep’ Tab.
- Adjust the ‘Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for’ slider to the desired time. You can choose from one minute to three hours, as well as ‘Never.’ The proper setting is really up to you, and is highly influenced by the type of routine work you do at your computer. Setting it to ‘Low’ will cause your Mac to enter sleep often, which can mean you’ll have to wait until your Mac wakes up before you can continue working. Setting it to ‘High’ negates the energy savings possible when sleeping. You should only use the ‘Never’ option if you dedicate your Mac to a specific function that requires it to always be active, such as use as a server or a shared resource in a distributed computing environment. I have my Mac set to go to sleep after 20 minutes of inactivity.