Faster wake from sleep on MacBooks

Faster wake from sleep on MacBooks

Summary: New MacBook Air owners have noticed that it takes a long time to wake their machines from sleep. This terminal command will fix what ails you.

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Faster wake from sleep on MacBooks - Jason O'Grady

Many new MacBook Air users are complaining of slow wake from sleep times with the new Mid 2013 MacBook Air models. As it turns out the problem isn't new. It first manifested itself when the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was released in June 2012. 

Erv Walter noticed the same problem with his MacBook Pro with Retina:

After opening the lid, it pretty instantly shows the password dialog box, but that UI is a lie. In reality, what is immediately shown is a screenshot of what the screen looked like when it went to sleep. The UI, although visible, is not functional for almost 10 seconds.

Walter discovered that the reason for the delay is Apple's new standby mode which is built into OS X to achieve longer battery life when MacBook Pros and Airs are sleeping, and he posted a terminal trick to change the default value. Apple notes that a fully charged MacBook can remain in standby for up to thirty days. The downside to the new standby mode is slightly longer wake times when you first open the clamshell.

According to Apple's knowledgebase article HT4392 ("Mac notebooks: About standby mode") affected models include all MacBook Pros with Retina displays and the MacBook Air Mid 2010 and later. Standby mode activates after just over an hour of regular sleep and the contents of RAM is written to the SSD then power to the hardware subsystems (i.e., RAM memory and the USB bus) turns off to increase the length of the standby. 

If you're willing to trade off a little bit of extra standby time you can get faster wake from sleep times by extending the window of time that your MacBook remains in regular sleep mode. I extended mine from the standard hour to 24 hours and am quite pleased with the results. 

Here's how to do it on your MacBook:

First, run the following pmset command with the -g flag (in Terminal) to see what your current sleep time is (in seconds):

pmset -g |grep standbydelay

Terminal will then display the time (in seconds) before the Mac enters standby. Make a note of what your default setting is in the event that you wish to revert).

standbydelay 4200

4200 seconds (70 minutes) is the default for MacBook Air (your number may vary).

I changed the standby delay for my machine from 1 hour to  24 hours by running this command from a terminal window (86400 seconds = 24 hours):

sudo pmset -a standbydelay 86400

Using the sudo command requires admin privileges, so enter your root/account password and hit return. Changes require a log out/log in to take effect. 

Topics: Apple, Laptops, Operating Systems, Software

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27 comments
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  • Funny

    A command line for Mac users...
    Whit all the respect it deserves, it is somewhat hilarious.
    TheCyberKnight
    • Welcome to the 21st century, Rip Van Winkle

      ((( "Funny... A command line for Mac users..." )))

      Where have you been? The Mac has had a UNIX command line for 13 years.
      buddhistMonkey
  • Not so funny

    The real beauty of a modern Mac is the fact that you have a beautiful and easy to use GUI and that maybe all you need. However, you also the power power and elegance of a Unix command line at your fingertips. Shoudn't all computers be like that?
    LikkieAU
    • nothing special about it.

      Actually every OS has similar power management command line utility so there really nothing so special and "beauty" about it.

      Even Windows has powercfg.exe since XP SP2 days...

      But here is the rub - What's so surprising is Macs couldn't even do hybrid sleep properly.
      Samic
      • Neither can Windoze PCs, from what I've seen

        Everyone of my friends don't just 'close the lid' on their PCs running WIndoze because they're afraid the OS won't sleep properly. I can't comment on how true their assumptions are though...
        theanimaster
  • power

    I hope they fix this in the next update
    ThinkFairer8
    • What is to fix?

      It is working as expected. This is a tip if you don't like the way it is supposed to work...
      wright_is
    • Nothing to fix

      It's not broken, it's just the way it is configured. If at all, a "fix" would let a user do this via the GUI instead of having to scour the internet for the command.
      fer.paredesb
  • The most expensive Tamagotchi ever

    Patch, patch, command line, patch, reboot, wait, patch, command line

    Have you fed your Tamagotchi today?

    I'm so happy to be done with apple and back into an ecosystem that just works. Thanks Microsoft.
    toddbottom3
    • patch, patch, command line, patch

      ((( "Patch, patch, command line, patch, reboot, wait, patch, command line " )))

      Sounds like what you were doing two weeks ago, what you'll do again in two weeks, and what you'll be doing every "Patch Tuesday" thereafter for perpetuity. Thanks, Microsoft.
      buddhistMonkey
      • Glad you don't deny it

        Thanks for admitting the mac is a Tamagotchi.
        toddbottom3
        • Tamagotchi

          Tamagotchi is a state of mind.

          Microsoft just makes it mandatory.
          danbi
      • command line

        No Microsoft patch ever requires the use of a command line- why don't you give Windows a try before making up untrue claims about it?
        xplorer1959
    • except

      You don't need to do this for your computer to work.

      So... come up with a valid complaint please.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • wow really?

      I' haven't had a Mac for ages, so I'm surprised that's the day-to-day in one. Is it, really? Or are you just trolling?
      fer.paredesb
    • That's what Windoze users say about switching to Macs

      Funny... that's awkward.

      Every day of my life, having to work in a crap Windoze ecosystem I long for my mac. Especially my current job which needs me to manage multiple apps workspaces -- OS X just makes it so much more fluid and easy to get around.

      Windoze doesn't 'just work' for me.
      theanimaster
  • If you see a command line, they blew it

    apple failed to make a good GUI because I see a command line. I will not accept the argument that it is a supplement. It is there therefore it is required and therefore osx is a fail.

    I will also say that this jarring mixture of GUI and command line makes osx a very confusing, difficult to use OS. It proves osx is a schizophrenic OS.

    Ouch.
    toddbottom3
    • you have no clue what you're talking about

      No, seriously, nothing in that comment made any sense at all. Nobody who says that Windows 8 is schizophrenic, not me mind you I rather like what Windows 8 offers, says anything about it being that way because you can access the command line.

      So, please, stop with this stupid false equivalency.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • windows 8 command line

      Even Win8 has a command line. R u saying Windows is also a schizophrenic OS? Sorry you're not making sense
      ThinkFairer8
    • Once again, Windows is the gold standard that apple is compared to

      Every time you guys say "but that's the way Windows works" you only prove my point.

      Thanks.
      toddbottom3