How to schedule your Mac to turn off and on

MacOS has a built-in Wake, Sleep, Boot, and Shutdown scheduling tool, but you may never have looked at it. However, it can be quite useful as it can help you save quite a bit of energy.

Find the ‘Schedule’ tab in ‘System Preferences > Power Saver’ on desktop Macs and ‘System Preferences > Battery on Mac notebooks’. (In earlier versions of macOS, there is a ‘Schedule’ button at the bottom of the ‘Energy Saver’ tab.)

Macs have many features to reduce wear and tear on their internal components when they’re not in active use. Hard drives shut down, components go to sleep, and your Mac notebook can even enter a hibernation mode that uses less power than normal sleep mode.

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However, shutting down your Mac completely always uses less power and incurs less wear and tear than having power flowing, especially on desktop drives, which have to maintain a minimal flow to restore from sleep.

Even if you don’t want your Mac to turn off, you might want it to go to sleep without invoking sleep mode if you leave your computer without having it set to do so in the Power view (Power Saver preferences) or Battery and Power Adapter (Battery preferences pane).

Apple only allows you to schedule two actions: a “Start or Wake” time, which brings your Mac back to life if it’s off or in sleep mode; and Sleep, Reboot, or Shutdown. You can choose to have the action performed at a specific time daily, on weekdays, on weekends, or on a specific day of the week.

Unfortunately, you can’t program more elaborate combinations of options, like restarting every Sunday night and shutting down at 6pm during the week.

You may also want to know how to send and receive messages on your Mac computer.