How to schedule sleep and wake times on your Mac

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There are a lot of ways you can automate tasks on your Mac. For instance, you can use the built-in Automator app to take care of things for you on a regular basis. Another feature to automate your Mac is the scheduling option.

By setting up a schedule, you can have your Mac start up, sleep, wake, and even shut down automatically. Here, we’ll show you how.

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Schedule your Mac

Setting up a schedule for your Mac is simple and only takes a minute or two. Just follow these steps.

  1. Open System Preferences with the icon in your Dock or by clicking Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar.
  2. Select Energy Saver.
  3. Click the Schedule button at the bottom. It does not matter if you have the Battery or Power Adapter tab selected.
  4. Check the box for Start up or wake at the top and/or an option in the Sleep drop-down box for Sleep, Restart, or Shut Down. You can use both by checking the boxes or just one or the other.
  5. Choose the days from Weekdays, Weekends, Every Day, or a particular day and any time of day you like for each option.
  6. Click OK.
Mac Energy Saver Schedule
Schedule your Mac

As you can see, you can schedule your Mac to start, wake, sleep, restart, or shut down and with flexible options for the days and times.

Mac Energy Saver Schedule Options
Schedule options for your Mac

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you schedule a time for your Mac to shut down.

  • Your Mac must be awake at the time you schedule it to shut down plus 10 minutes.
  • If your Mac is in Sleep mode at the time you schedule it to shut down, it will stay in Sleep mode.
  • If your Mac is set to Sleep after less than 15 minutes of inactivity, it may Sleep before it can Shut Down.


To make sure your Mac shuts down on your schedule even when it’s sleeping, Apple suggests that you set the Start up or Wake for five minutes before the time you schedule it to Shut Down.

Also note that if you schedule your Mac to Start up, it must be connected to the power adapter.

Set your Mac to your schedule

If you start work on your Mac at the same time each weekday or always want it to sleep at the end of your workday, creating a schedule that coincides with your own is easy.

Are you going to set up a schedule for your Mac? If so, let us know which settings you decide on!

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