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  • NoSleep Lets Your MacBook Run Even When Closed


    NoSleep is a tool that permits you to keep your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air operating even after you have closed the lid. This can be particularly useful if you are the kind of person that needs to let your computer work while you are asleep or when you want to take your computer with you somewhere. It’s great for taking the computer places so that you can close the lid even though you want it to continue processing whatever it was processing when you had it opened up. It's also great for servers if you just happen to use your MacBook for one. If you use your MacBook as a base computer but like to attach it to an external display, then you will appreciate this application.

    The usefulness of NoSleep is open for discussion because if you want to let your computer run while you are trying to sleep, it is simple enough to merely reduce your backlight brightness to zero while the computer finishes what it has to do. Apart from that, the MacBook (no matter the model) will not continue to run after you have closed it up. Instead, it will go into a power-saving sleep mode.

    NoSleep comes with a settings pane (shown below) that is accessible from System Preferences on your Mac (>System Preferences) that permits you change some settings. The settings are limited – only two checkboxes. One being ‘Do not fall asleep when lid is closed’ which as it states, keeps your MacBook from going into the low-power sleep mode when you close your MacBook; the second option being ‘Start NoSleep utility on system startup’, which allows the program execute every time you boot up the computer so that you’re ready to use it without having to open it up every time.



    Apart from the System Preferences pane, a menu bar icon (shown below) is also supplied which permits you to enable and disable NoSleep on demand. It assists you in discerning the working status of NoSleep. The gray, colorless icon indicates that NoSleep is not enabled. The blue, lit icon indicates that NoSleep is enabled and will keep your MacBook from falling asleep when you close it. Along with most of Mac OS X's menu bar icons, NoSleep's icon isn't that bad looking.



    NoSleep is a free application that can be downloaded from this link. If you decide that you don’t like its functionality after installing it, you can uninstall NoSleep by executing the uninstaller package that is encompassed within the '.dmg' file that you downloaded. It's also a good idea to reboot after doing so. The developer of the application states that he is open for suggestions for improving it whether your suggestions are for bug fixes or for feature requests.

    The newest version (1.2.1) comes with a bug fix and improvement from the previous version (1.2):
    • Fixed: a System Preferences crash
    • New style for the notification icon

    Sources: News via OSX Daily, Heading picture courtesy of Anandtech
    This article was originally published in forum thread: NoSleep Lets Your MacBook Run Even When Closed started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. Don Ju4n's Avatar
      Don Ju4n -
      After a couple of articles I've seen first on OSX Daily I can see that you frequent the site just as much as you do Anthony

      Just one question, if nosleep hasn't been set to run at startup how can I bring up the Status Bar icon. I tried looking for it but I only found the pref pane?
    1. lkailburn's Avatar
      lkailburn -
      You mean there is no built in OS feature for this? Wtf?
      -Luke
    1. willryan42's Avatar
      willryan42 -
      Uhhh... I always thought it was a terrible idea to have your computer running with the lid closed. The majority of heat is vented through the keyboard, so there's a good chance that your macbook can overheat if you use this. On top of that, it's probably not a good idea to transport your computer while it's running, but that's just me.
    1. MiguelL.'s Avatar
      MiguelL. -
      I agree with Luke, why isn't that a built in OS feature? I can already do this with my Windows PC.
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      Will, I was thinking the same. This isnt the first app for this. Lets get a couple of things right here. Yes most of the laptops heat is vented through the keyboard and that it very known about macbooks, on top of that it would just drain your battery and if you machine some how does reach an extreme heat it will auto-shutoff as a security precaution to protect the hardware. As for the walking around with the lid closed from place to place, If you have a SSD like me then no worries use your machine upside down or as you please, if you have a harddrive it is like putting a dvd into your drive start burning a movie then flip your mac then see how that disc is at the end, same deal. As much as id like to be able to close my lid and walk upstairs during skype cov, i will not risk my mac. HORRIBLE IDEA. STAY AWAY. MMI i cant believe you'd suggest to get an app like this w/o knowing the consequences to it.
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      Quote Originally Posted by hitman10 View Post
      Will, I was thinking the same. This isnt the first app for this. Lets get a couple of things right here. Yes most of the laptops heat is vented through the keyboard and that it very known about macbooks, on top of that it would just drain your battery and if you machine some how does reach an extreme heat it will auto-shutoff as a security precaution to protect the hardware. As for the walking around with the lid closed from place to place, If you have a SSD like me then no worries use your machine upside down or as you please, if you have a harddrive it is like putting a dvd into your drive start burning a movie then flip your mac then see how that disc is at the end, same deal. As much as id like to be able to close my lid and walk upstairs during skype cov, i will not risk my mac. HORRIBLE IDEA. STAY AWAY. MMI i cant believe you'd suggest to get an app like this w/o knowing the consequences to it.
      Most model laptops can't even dissipate the heat that the CPU creates if on full load for extended periods of time, when this happens it begins to slow down the processor so that it produces less heat. Besides all that I'm pretty sure that the air vents on macbooks are behind the display hinge that has air flow from both sides of the monitor and would not be blocked... Soooo... I think your SIZE 5 BOLD FONT. may be unnecessary and a little over the top.
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Quote Originally Posted by hitman10 View Post
      Will, I was thinking the same. This isnt the first app for this. Lets get a couple of things right here. Yes most of the laptops heat is vented through the keyboard and that it very known about macbooks, on top of that it would just drain your battery and if you machine some how does reach an extreme heat it will auto-shutoff as a security precaution to protect the hardware. As for the walking around with the lid closed from place to place, If you have a SSD like me then no worries use your machine upside down or as you please, if you have a harddrive it is like putting a dvd into your drive start burning a movie then flip your mac then see how that disc is at the end, same deal. As much as id like to be able to close my lid and walk upstairs during skype cov, i will not risk my mac. HORRIBLE IDEA. STAY AWAY. MMI i cant believe you'd suggest to get an app like this w/o knowing the consequences to it.
      Where I agree with you, probably a little too much outrage lol
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Norb View Post
      Most model laptops can't even dissipate the heat that the CPU creates if on full load for extended periods of time, when this happens it begins to slow down the processor so that it produces less heat. Besides all that I'm pretty sure that the air vents on macbooks are behind the display hinge that has air flow from both sides of the monitor and would not be blocked... Soooo... I think your SIZE 5 BOLD FONT. may be unnecessary and a little over the top.
      Clearly I know nothing. Ill keep the facts to myself next time.

      Oh BTW here is Apple Care phone number i hope you purchased support and they cover stupidity.

      1-800-MY-APPLE
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      Quote Originally Posted by hitman10 View Post
      Clearly I know nothing. Ill keep the facts to myself next time.

      Oh BTW here is Apple Care phone number i hope you purchased support and they cover stupidity.

      1-800-MY-APPLE
      I'm quite surprised that OSX doesn't have this as a built in feature, but a computer mostly idling won't make your computer melt down. It's actually quite pathetic that you need an application just to run your rig while it's shut.

      Considering the years I ran my T60 in a dock as a workstation with the lid closed and never had any issues, you're fear-mongering just a bit. I do the same with my netbook and other machines in the past without a hint of trouble.
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by hitman10 View Post
      Will, I was thinking the same. This isnt the first app for this. Lets get a couple of things right here. Yes most of the laptops heat is vented through the keyboard and that it very known about macbooks, on top of that it would just drain your battery and if you machine some how does reach an extreme heat it will auto-shutoff as a security precaution to protect the hardware. As for the walking around with the lid closed from place to place, If you have a SSD like me then no worries use your machine upside down or as you please, if you have a harddrive it is like putting a dvd into your drive start burning a movie then flip your mac then see how that disc is at the end, same deal. As much as id like to be able to close my lid and walk upstairs during skype cov, i will not risk my mac. HORRIBLE IDEA. STAY AWAY. MMI i cant believe you'd suggest to get an app like this w/o knowing the consequences to it.
      Vents for the MacBooks are in the rear where the fans push the heat out. The keyboard doesn't have any vents in it. It's closed off. Heat rises, sure, but the fans do a decent job of flattening the heat. You can also use fan utilities to manually control the fan if you're absolutely worried about heat.
    1. GregTheWang's Avatar
      GregTheWang -
      Warning to Macbook users: Closing the lid and thus inhibiting most of the heat dissipation of the laptop (recall that nice toasty top left side above the esc key?) while running very CPU-intensive operations can be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Vents for the MacBooks are in the rear where the fans push the heat out. The keyboard doesn't have any vents in it. It's closed off. Heat rises, sure, but the fans do a decent job of flattening the heat. You can also use fan untilies to manually control the fan if you're absolutely worried about heat.
      And there you have it! Perfectly safe! I too am shocked that this is not a built in feature, as it is with pcs. I feel like all of these people with such strong opinions about how closing the lid will DESTROY your computer and start World War 3, are just trying to justify why their favorite operating system and incredibly expensive computer(s) don't come with such a simple, useful feature.
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      I thought apple laptops since the iBooks have had the ability to run in "clamshell" mode? In fact a simple google search shows this is a feature of all apple portable computers...

      Let me google that for you
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      And there you have it! Perfectly safe! I too am shocked that this is not a built in feature, as it is with pcs. I feel like all of these people with such strong opinions about how closing the lid will DESTROY your computer and start World War 3, are just trying to justify why their favorite operating system and incredibly expensive computer(s) don't come with such a simple, useful feature.
      It's not a high demand feature. Not a ton of computer users demand this functionality. But like every other device on the market, if the device cannot do it, there's an app for that
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by hitman10 View Post
      Will, I was thinking the same. This isnt the first app for this. Lets get a couple of things right here. Yes most of the laptops heat is vented through the keyboard and that it very known about macbooks, on top of that it would just drain your battery and if you machine some how does reach an extreme heat it will auto-shutoff as a security precaution to protect the hardware. As for the walking around with the lid closed from place to place, If you have a SSD like me then no worries use your machine upside down or as you please, if you have a harddrive it is like putting a dvd into your drive start burning a movie then flip your mac then see how that disc is at the end, same deal. As much as id like to be able to close my lid and walk upstairs during skype cov, i will not risk my mac. HORRIBLE IDEA. STAY AWAY. MMI i cant believe you'd suggest to get an app like this w/o knowing the consequences to it.

      Weird how some will say this is bad. 1st Apple has a very good SMS that parks the HD when it's needed. 2nd i use my 2011 MBP 16gb ram and SSD as a desk top replacement with a tbolt apl monitor and my lid is closed all the time. No issues and my temp reading stays the same as if the lid was open. Now the built in feature (not using 2nd party) turns off the monitor which I am sure helps dissipate heat vented from the keyboard.
    1. nate4379's Avatar
      nate4379 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hitman10 View Post
      Clearly I know nothing. Ill keep the facts to myself next time.

      Oh BTW here is Apple Care phone number i hope you purchased support and they cover stupidity.

      1-800-MY-APPLE
      hitman10 is completely right. This type of program is not a new idea Ive been using similar programs, eg. insomniax, and ?coffeebreak?. The following is very simple and I hope that all that read this article get to see this comment....

      The two most efficient ways heat dissipates from the the MacBook Pros, Air is through A. The keyboard and B. [Primarily] the exhaust for the system fan, that lies behind the hinge.

      When you close your Macbook, you inhibit not only the air from escaping through the keyboard, but from the hinge; go ahead and look!! [I do not suggest doing this while your computer is on if you do not have an SSD] flip if over and close the lid, the area of the hole when closed behind the hinge is just a fraction of the width when the lid is open. This will cause more heat to build up and your system to run very hot.

      Like I said, I have used on these types of apps when using previous at a desk and using an external monitor. Note, *previous. I have had TWO macbook pros replaced because of these types of programs. Both times the display, fan, and logic board(apparently because of damaged heat syncs) had to be replaced. Running your computer in these conditions causes heat to build up and exit up through the keyboard right against the display. It will eventually cause discoloration of the display (in the shape of the fan). I have pics if anyone needs proof for some reason.

      Use this program at your own risk, I can't stop your from using it but I will recommend that if you do only use if for short duration, and nothing that puts a strain on the CPU.


      I also am disappointed in MMi that this made the news, not only is this nothing new, but its also already known to cause problems with MacBooks. So why i ask is it being recommended to anyone?

      I apologize for mispellings etc. I typed this in a hurry because i have test tmrw morning and i would rather be studying, I just couldn't let a ton of readers harm their MacBooks due to being misinformed.
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      OKAY DON'T DO THIS
      There is another program just like this a while back I'm sure it's not gone yet

      the problem with these programs is that your Mac gets incredibly HOT in less then 10Min because the wind current flows from the keyboard out the back of the Mac and when the MacBook is closed it cannot cool itself properly leading to overheating and eventually killing things like hard drive fans motherboard

      This was true for my MacBook pro 2008 15inch
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by BenderRodriguez View Post
      OKAY DON'T DO THIS
      There is another program just like this a while back I'm sure it's not gone yet

      the problem with these programs is that your Mac gets incredibly HOT in less then 10Min because the wind current flows from the keyboard out the back of the Mac and when the MacBook is closed it cannot cool itself properly leading to overheating and eventually killing things like hard drive fans motherboard

      This was true for my MacBook pro 2008 15inch
      Lol. Okay, well the 2009+ MacBook Pro models don't have ventilation through the keyboard so it won't make much of a difference. Please stop spreading these false rumors that cite all MacBooks vent through the keyboard. Ventilation goes through the rear because of the fans... the rest of the computer is sealed off. Image by iFixit:

    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      Obviously I was too discreet with my link. Here is an apple kb link:

      Apple Portables: How to use your computer in closed clamshell (display closed) mode with an external display

      You may all now remove the tin foil hats
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigbaba View Post
      Obviously I was too discreet with my link. Here is an apple kb link:

      Apple Portables: How to use your computer in closed clamshell (display closed) mode with an external display

      You may all now remove the tin foil hats
      But how about when you want to use the computer and not an external display or various accessories? That is where NoSleep shines.