How to Make Mac Turn Off or On Automatically

Mar 1, 2021 - 8 Comments

How to Make Mac Turn Off or On Automatically

Did you know that you can set your Mac to start up or shut down on its own? This is an energy-saving feature that macOS has to offer, and it has been available since the earliest days of Mac OS X. Regardless of how long scheduled booting and shutdowns have been available, many Mac users may not be aware of this handy feature.

When your Mac is idle, whether it’s a MacBook or an iMac, it still consumes power, just a lot lower than it typically would under load or regular usage. If you’re the kind of person who leaves your computer running all night, this could potentially impact your electricity bill. This is mostly an issue with desktop Macs since MacBook users mostly always close the lid which puts the device to sleep automatically.

By using Energy Saver on macOS, you can make sure your Mac is ready for use whenever you want it to, especially if you’re a person who follows a schedule. In this article, we’ll be discussing how you can set your Mac to power off and turn on all by itself, automatically.

How to Make Mac Shut Down or Power On Automatically

The following steps are applicable for all versions of macOS and you can take advantage of Energy Saving across all models. Now, without further ado, let’s see what you need to do:

  1. Head over to “System Preferences” on your Mac from the Dock.

    How to Make Mac Turn Off or On Automatically
  2. Here, click on the “Energy Saver” or “Battery” option located in the last of System Preferences as shown in the screenshot below. *

    How to Make Mac Turn Off or On Automatically
  3. In the Energy Saver menu, click on “Schedule” located at the bottom-right corner of the window.

    How to Make Mac Turn Off or On Automatically
  4. Next, check the box next to “Start up or wake” to access all the scheduling options. Set a preferred time when you want to start up or wake your Mac.

    How to Make Mac Turn Off or On Automatically
  5. Next, you need to click on “Sleep” and change it to “Shut Down” as shown below. Check the box next to it and select your preferred shutdown time. Click on “OK” when you’re done configuring.

    How to Make Mac Turn Off or On Automatically

(* For those wondering, whether or not the control panel is labeled as Battery or Energy Saver depends on if the Mac is a laptop or desktop)

The Energy Saver feature on macOS can be scheduled for either every day or any particular day of the week, depending on your requirements.

Note that your Mac will not be able to shut down automatically if you have any unsaved documents open on your desktop. Likewise, your Mac must be awake and logged in to your user account for it to be able to shut down at the scheduled time.

Most people would want to schedule their Macs to automatically shut down shortly before bedtime and start up when they’re ready to work. If you don’t want your Mac to completely shut down, you can set your Mac to automatically enter sleep mode instead. You can use these exact steps, except you’ll be selecting “Sleep” instead of “Shut Down” in the scheduling menu.

Apart from this, you may also be interested in setting certain apps to launch on boot in macOS so that when your Mac automatically starts up on a schedule, your apps are also ready for immediate use.

Did you configure your Mac automatically start up and shut down? How often have you scheduled this feature on your Mac?  What’s your overall take on this energy-saving feature if this is the first time you’re using it? Share your thoughts and relevant experiences or helpful tips in the comments!


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. expobill says:

    I used this feature as well since 2001 until High Sierra and now Mojave, anyone know why?

    • inno says:

      What issues are you having with it?

      I personally don’t ever turn my Mac off unless it’s in storage, otherwise I just put them to sleep.

  2. Glenn Lego says:

    I have an iPad with some wireless headphones. When I try to watch videos using the headphones, I get a lot of buffering. Is there any way to stop that from happening?

  3. Rémi Hao says:

    I have been using this for decades, and while I find it useful, it’s still not flexible enough. I’d like the option of being able to schedule a start up and sleep or shut down at different times on different days. I’d like to be able to schedule a monthly shutdown. There was a control panel that allowed such flexibility back in the old Mac OS 7 days.

  4. Raffy says:

    Energy saving works different on earlier versions of macOS. F.i. the Start up and wake feature does not show on 10.13 (High Sierra).

  5. Lcgarcia says:

    If a password is needed in order to start up an iMac or MacBook this feature is not so useful. Is there any way to go around ir?

    How much power is saved when a Mac is asleep and when it is shutdown? What is the difference kWh-wise per day or month?

  6. Sheryl S. says:

    I cannot believe I have been using Macs for two decades now without knowing about that! I used this information to set my machine to turn off automatically, something I have been wanting to do. Thank you for the tip!

  7. Bayswater says:

    Requiring that the Mac be awake for shut down makes the feature a lot less useful in cases where the Mac is set to sleep after some period and hasn’t been used for that period prior to the scheduled shut down.

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