Scheduling a Mac to Shut Down

Mac OS X includes the ability to put a Mac to sleep at a scheduled time. You can also schedule your Mac to shut down or restart at a specific time on certain days of the week.

This ability is included as standard with Mac OS X. It has limitations but for many this will be enough to start saving energy.

Let's walk through how to schedule your Mac to sleep, shut down, or restart at a specific time.

Energy Saver's Schedule

  1. Launch System Preferences > Energy Saver
    Open Energy Saver in Mac OS X's System Preferences
  2. Click on the Schedule… button in the lower-right.
    Energy Saver's Schedule options
  3. Enable the check box next to Sleep to activate the ability.
  4. Use the pop-up menus and time to set up your event.

    The action menu includes:

    • Sleep
    • Shut Down
    • Restart
    Energy Saver can sleep, shut down, and restart the Mac

    The days menu includes:

    • Weekdays
    • Weekends
    • Every Day
    • Monday
    • Tuesday
    • Wednesday
    • Thursday
    • Friday
    • Saturday
    • Sunday
    • Energy Saver offers a limited range of days
  5. Click OK to apply your energy saving event.

There are limitations to what can be achieved with Energy Saver's Schedule. The user interface only permits a restricted range of event times and days.

If you need more capabilities or want to expand your energy saving schedule, you can turn to the built-in command line tool pmset.

pmset exposes more of Mac OS X's capabilities and lets you create more complex schedules. Schedules are still limited in scope, but it offers more than the Energy Saver.

If you need more control and capabilities, try our energy saving Power Manager software.

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Published by Graham Miln on