Prevent your MacBook from sleeping when its lid is closed with NoSleep

Sections: Laptops, Mac Software, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, System Utilities

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NoSleepDo you own a MacBook (Pro, Air, or original model) and wish you could close its lid without putting it to sleep? A new, free OS X tool by the name of NoSleep allows for just that. With it, you can carry your MacBook around or just close the lid for whatever reason without putting the system to sleep so it can continue processing whatever it’s working on. NoSleep is also very useful for those who use their MacBooks as servers or with external displays, although these situations are surely less common than just having to prevent your MacBook from sleeping occasionally.

Every type of MacBook, no matter the model, will go into sleep mode once its lid is closed. There are no exceptions, and there are no settings within OS X to disable that functionality. This is why NoSleep is such an essential app to have, as I’m sure almost all MacBook owners have run into an occasion in which they’d like to close the MacBook’s lid and keep it running. You can deal with such a situation in the future by downloading this simple freeware which functions as a settings pane within System Preferences and as a menu bar icon.

The settings pane contains two settings: disable sleep when the lid closes, and start the utility when your MacBook starts up. The menu bar icon allows you to enable and disable NoSleep’s functionality by simply clicking it, after which it will change from gray (disabled) to blue (enabled).

While NoSleep can certainly come in useful in many situations, I must also caution you not to overuse this utility as there is a legitimate danger of overheating your MacBook. Every MacBook model is designed to go into sleep mode once the lid is closed in order to prevent overheating, which is likely why there is no setting within OS X itself to allow for NoSleep’s functionality. Use caution when having NoSleep enabled, only use it when absolutely necessary, and avoid having it enabled with your MacBook’s lid closed for extended periods of time.

That being said, NoSleep is available as a free download from the app’s Google Project page.

Via [ModMyi]

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  • FdLBT

    This article is note quite accurate. On Lion, when an external display is connected and the lid is closed, the built in LCD turns off but the MacBook remains live on the external display.

  • M C

    There is no overheating risk to running the mac with the lid closed. If there was, why would Apple make this possible when using an external monitor and keyboard?

    Not giving us the option of “no sleep when lid closed” unless you have an external monitor and keyboard is just one more example of Steve Job’s arrogance. Windows laptops have always had that option.

    Maybe now that Jobs is gone Apple employees will be free to develop features that customers ask for instead of just what Job asked for.