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How Often Should I Shut Down my MacBook? (Every Night?)

How Often Should I Shut Down my MacBook? (Every Night?)

It’s not uncommon for a new Macbook Pro or MacBook air user to wonder: “How often should I shut down My Macbook?” How often you shutdown your MacBook will have a direct effect on the battery will ultimately determine how long your MacBook should last… but, is a shutdown necessary every single night?

Shutting down your Mac computer is an activity that affects the performance and functionality of the computer. There have been a lot of conflicting opinions and comments about the issue of shutting down a MacBook. 

It is advisable that you shut down your MacBook if you do not plan to use it within a 36 hours time period. Many Apple experts also advise that you shut your MacBook Pro or Air down every 3-5 days as shutting down the MacBook clears the operational memory of the computer, making it fast and responsive.

However… If you plan to leave your MacBook in sleep mode for months at a time on 0% battery charge, then you may want to think twice. This action could be detrimental to the MacBook’s battery to the point it barely lasts an hour or two of charge..

See what happened when I didn’t shut down my Mac for over one year.

In this post, I’ll explore exactly how long you should shut your Macbook down and why the time durations differs for when you plan on leaving your past the 36 hour mark. We will also cover how often you should restart your Mac.

Should you shut down your MacBook every night?

Should you shut down your MacBook every night_

Do you really need to turn off or shut down your Mac? You do not need to shut down your MacBook computer every night. Most people believe that shutting down a Mac computer helps save its battery, optimize its performance, or prevent the failure of some of the computer components. However, all of these are not true.

Shutting down your MacBook every night doesn’t help save its battery or save you a significant amount of electricity. You should sleep the Mac or enable hibernation/sleep mode if you plan to use the MacBook with-in 36 hours..

Excessive shutting down of your MacBook may have adverse consequences on the operation of the computer.

Normally, the MacBook carries out some upgrade and maintenance operations when you use or sleep your computer. By shutting the computer down every night, you prevent these operations from continuing. Also, every time you shut your MacBook down and power it on again, you will have to wait for some time to allow your computer load and initiate some applications and programs, which is time-wasting.

Related: iPad vs Laptop Pros and Cons: Replacing a Laptop with iPad

How can I shutdown Mac from the keyboard?

How can I shutdown Mac from the keyboard_

There are a number of easy ways to shutdown your Macbook, but only two ways to shut it down from the keyboard. 

You can shutdown your Mac from your keyboard by following these steps:

  1. Select the control, option , and command button simultaneously
  2. While the three keyboard keys are being held down, you will can tap the power button to initiate the shutdown
  3. At this point the Mac will offer you a ‘save documents’ prompt, and after you choose yes or no, it will automatically shot down your macbook from the keyboard.

The second method of using the keyboard to shut down your Mac will allow you to display a dialog and give you a choice: Shutdown, restart or sleep. To do this, simply select the control key on the keyboard, followed by the power button or the ‘Media eject’ button.

What happens when I close my MacBook lid?

What happens when I close my MacBook lid_

When you close the lid of your MacBook, your computer sleeps. When this happens, all programs, applications, and processes currently running on the computer are stored in the RAM. This means that only the RAM draws power from your battery, while all other activities are stopped. Thus, closing the lid of your MacBook is not harmful to your computer; it is rather good for the computer and its battery.

For more on the iPhone battery, see our post: How to Fix iPhone Battery Draining Overnight

Is it OK to leave a MacBook or iMac on all the time?

Is it OK to leave a MacBook or iMac on all the time_

It is perfectly safe to leave the MacBook at all times. This is one of the benefits that users of MacOs enjoy. You do not need to shut down your computer at all times; you can simply allow it to sleep. It allows maintenance tasks and processes to go on even when you are not using it. 

The way Lithium Ion batteries are designed it’s no surprise that shutting it down intermittently helps the computer work most optimally.

While some believe that shutting computers down is common with Windows users and not necessary for MacBook users, others believe that frequent shutting down does the battery of your MacBook a lot of good. 

Related: 11 Best iPad Hand Holders & iPad Cases with a pencil holder

However, whether or not you should shut it down and the frequency with which you do so is entirely up to you. The way you use your MacBook and how much you want your battery to last affects the rate at which you shut down the computer system. MacBook uses lithium-ion batteries, meaning that they require low-level discharge to remain in optimum working conditions.  

How often should I restart my Mac?

Mac users often wonder, how often should I restart my Mac? You should Restart your MacBook two the three times a month if you feel you have to. If the MacBook gets bogged down, lagged, stuttering, and you feel a restart is needed, then yes, you should restart your MacBook. Unless the Apple notification informs you not to restart your Mac, then it’s most likely safe to restart the laptop or iMac.

Should I shut down my MacBook when I’m storing it?

Should I shut down my MacBook when I’m storing it_

Generally, it is advisable to shut down a MacBook computer when storing it. However, the length or duration of the storage period also plays a major role in determining whether or not to shut down a MacBook computer. If you intend to store your computer for a few hours, not up to 36 hours, you may not need to shut down the MacBook.

On the other hand, it is advisable to shut the computer down completely if you intend to store it for 36 hours or more. Shutting it down, in this case, will help save the battery life and lifespan. It also helps you optimize its operation, ensuring that the computer runs optimally the next time you use it.

See our post: 5 Best Macbook for Kids [Buyers Guide]

Another important point that you should bear in mind while storing your MacBook is the temperature of the storage area. Temperature plays an important role in ensuring that a computer works efficiently. Thus, storing your computer within the temperature of 50 and 90 degrees Celsius, as anything below or above these two temperatures, can be detrimental to the operation of the computer.

The difference between shut down and sleep mode on Mac

The difference between shut down and sleep mode on Mac

There are lots of differences between these two power states when dealing with a Mac computer. The difference between these two power states ranges from functionality, power consumption, and many more. Below are some of the differences between the shutdown modes and sleep mode on Mac computers.

Related: Is CleanMyMac Safe? (The Truth)

Sleep Mode

Sleep Mode

When you sleep your Mac computer, it stops all the processes and applications on the computer from running and transfers their memory to the RAM of the computer. Thus, only the RAM draws energy from the computer battery while other hardware such as hard disk, and the rest are switched off. This helps save the computer’s battery and allows maintenance tasks to run even when not in use.

Some of the activities or processes that run while the MacBook is in sleep mode includes

  • Upgrading the software on your computer by downloading updates
  • Your computer can also download Mac Application Store items
  • You can wake your Mac computer through wireless base stations or a remote wireless connection using Wake on Wireless
  • Processes and programs such as Spotlight, Time Machine, and Help Center continue to update themselves.

See our post: MacKeeper vs CleanMyMac: Best for Speed Optimization

All of these actions point to the fact that your Mac computer does a lot of work without draining your battery while on sleep mode. These processes and activities cannot run when you shut down your Mac computer.

See the 9 Best CleanMyMac Alternatives (Free and Paid)

Shutdown Mode

Shutdown Mode

While on shut down mode, your Mac computer stops all processes from working and goes off. It also clears the operational memory of the computer, meaning that there are no currently running processes on the computer.

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Powering the computer after shutdown means that you would have to wait for all the processes and programs on your computer to get initiated once again.

This mode saves battery life as no hardware, software, or application drains power from the software while on shutdown mode.

Mac: Sleep vs. Shutdown

Mac_ Sleep vs. Shutdown

Having come thus far, it is important to decide which of the two modes is beneficial to our Mac computers. This decision should be made bearing the longevity of the computer battery and the need to optimize the performance of the battery.

Knowing whether to sleep or shutdown your Macbook can benefit the longevity of the hardware… especially the battery.

Related: CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes: Which Anti-Malware is better?

Is it better to shut down or sleep a MacBook?

Is it better to shut down or sleep a MacBook_

Considering that sleep mode allows for efficient battery use and implementation of maintenance tasks, it is the better option. Sleeping your Mac computer is very beneficial to your battery life and performance of your computer. Shutting the computer down is only beneficial if you are not going to use the computer for an extended period.

What to do when your MacBook won’t shut down

Force quitting applications will allow you to shut down your Macbook, especially when it won’t shut down. In most cases, the notification that informs you there is a program open is hidden and this is what prevents you from shutting the computer down.

Instead of shutting the computer down, you can also restart the Macbook or force shutdown your device by holding the power button for 3-5 seconds. After this, the MacBook will immediately shut off – this is not always advised because there is a process your device goes through before shutting down properly, and this could mean certain files and settings are unsaved.

if this keeps occurring and your device continues to not be able to shut down, you will need to ensure that your MacBook is updated to the latest operating system. You will also want to consider resetting the NVRAM.

If none of these steps help, it’s possible that there may be a hardware issue with your MacBook. In this case, it’s best to take it to an authorized service provider (Apple) for further diagnosis and repair.

Is it good to shut down your Mac every night?

Is it good to shut down your Mac every night

No. it is not advisable to shut down your Mac computer or gadget every night. It is preferable that you put it to sleep mode by closing the lid or going through the power options. This is important, especially if you use a computer every day.

Industry experts I spoke to suggest shutting down your MacBook every 3-5 days, but this is not necessarily a hard and fast rule. I personally have kept my MacBook in sleep mode for over a year without any issues with the battery.

We go into detail on the MacBook battery here and how long it lasts; this is important because it is tied closely to the question of whether you should shut your mac down every night or not.

I did not shut down my Macbook every night for over a year, here were my results of this unintentional test:

  • It is also fine to leave your MacBook plugged in while in sleep mode, although it is worth noting that M1 MacBooks may behave differently than those with Intel processors.
  • The M1 & M2 based Mac devices can certainly can handle being plugged in all the time.
  • However, my old intel based mac from late 2019 did not handle this well (the battery would not last long after I repeated this).

It is a common belief that shutting down a MacBook can help prevent component failure and preserve the battery. However, this is not entirely true.

In most cases, putting your MacBook into sleep mode is the better option, especially if you are stepping away for just a few hours or overnight. Apple has not specifically stated that shutting down your MacBook every night is beneficial or necessary.

In summary, it is not necessary to shut down your MacBook every night. Sleep mode is generally a better option unless you are not planning to use your device for an extended period of time (e.g., more than 36 hours) and you have an Intel-based MacBook. In any case, it is not recommended to leave your MacBook unplugged for extended periods of time.

Why would you use sleep mode rather than shutting it down every night?

Why would you use sleep mode rather than shutting it down every night

If you shut down your Mac during the night, your Mac will not be able to perform maintenance tasks (and there are many of these during the night). MacOS performs numerous tasks at night while you are not using your Mac and it is sleeping. This sleep mode is actually called Power Nap by Apple.

Putting your Mac in Power Nap mode rather than turning it off might make you wonder if you’re wasting power. Even plugged in and turned off, your Mac uses energy and understanding this could help you make a more informed decision.

However, you don’t have to shut down and restart your Mac every day if you leave it on all the time. If you use your Mac to render video or backup data, this can be especially useful – consider your personal usage patterns and try not to shut it down every single night if you plan on resuming where you left off quickly the next day.


Should I leave my MacBook plugged in all the time?

 It is not advisable to keep your MacBook plugged at all times. It is preferable that you charge your computer battery, unplug the charger and use it for some time before charging it again. This helps extend the battery life of your computer.

Even though we don’t advise it- it is still generally safe to leave your MacBook plugged in on newer models that have a M1 or M2 chip, but it is not necessary to do so. In most cases, you’ll want to unplug your MacBook and use it on battery power when needed as this is the intended battery usage that Apple wants it’s users to follow (This is because it uses a lithium ion battery which benefits from letting the battery drain towards 0%, but not fully – before charging it back up to 80% or higher).

Leaving your MacBook plugged in all the time can be convenient, as it means you don’t have to worry about your battery running out of power. However, it is not necessary to do so in order to keep your battery charged as certain monitors like the LG models can also charge your Macbook if you use it as a secondary display.

Note: Your MacBook will automatically stop charging the battery when it reaches a full charge, so there is no risk of overcharging the battery.

If you do choose to leave your MacBook plugged in all the time, it is a good idea to use a good quality power adapter and to keep the power cord in good condition. It is also a good idea to periodically discharge the battery to about sub 50% and then recharge it to 90% or so to help maintain the health of the battery.

In summary, it is safe to leave your MacBook plugged in all the time if it is a newer model, but it is not necessary to do so. You can also use your MacBook on battery power when needed without any negative effects.

Should I shut down my iMac every night?

No. It is not good to shut down your iMac every night. As with all gadgets using the MacOs, your gadget can carry out upgrades and maintenance tasks while in sleep mode. You will prevent your iMac from periodic updates if you shut it down every night.

You would think that shutting down your iMac every night would help conserve energy and reduce wear and tear on the hardware – but it’s simply not required. It could help protect your computer from malware and other security threats in certain situations; but it is not always needed.

Related: Is a MacBook Air Good for Video Editing (The Truth)

Does closing a MacBook put it to sleep or shut it down?

Closing the lid of a MacBook puts it to sleep and doesn’t shut it down. Closing the MacBook is one of the ways of putting the computer into sleep mode. This means that the computer will stop most of its functions and use minimal power, but it will not be fully shut down.

In sleep mode, the MacBook will maintain its current state in memory, so you can pick up right where you left off when you wake it up. This can be convenient if you need to step away from your computer for a short period of time and don’t want to fully shut it down.

To shut down the MacBook, you need to go through the power options or press the power button.

How do I keep my Mac on all night?

You can do this by effecting changes in your Mac computer. Choose the Apple menu option and select the System preferences option. Click energy saver, and you will find the Energy preferences options available.

How can I make my MacBook not go to sleep or shutdown?

Go to the System Preferences through the Apple Menu. You will find an ‘Energy Saver’ and select the power saver option under the ‘Settings for’ option. Choose the Computer Sleep and drag the slider to the extreme right end.

How to let programs run when Mac is shut down?

Programs cannot run when your Mac computer is shut down. When the Mac computer is shut down, all programs and applications end.

How to stop Mac from sleeping?

Some apps can be used to stop your Mac computer from sleeping. An example of such an app is Amphetamine. This app prevents your Mac computer from sleeping and allows some programs to continue running.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ