Speeding up MacBook Pro Sleep & Resume…

One of the things I absolutely love and have shown off to more than a few people, is how quickly my Mac goes in and out of sleep mode. It means that I can open and close with abandon and not really have to worry about it affecting my productivity. It also means that when I realize I’m running late, I can drop the lid and don’t have to twiddle my thumbs very long (sans Solitaire/WebSudoku) while I wait for everything to spin down. I love this – when it works. Occasionally when I attempt to wake my machine, I will get a totally black screen with no login prompt. The machine appears to be awake but the screen isn’t active. Closing the lid does not put it back to sleep so I have to power cycle the thing to get it going again. I know, I know, everyone is going to give me grief about how Mac just works and whatnot but it’s total bollocks. EVERYTHING has issues. Live with it.

Tweak It

Never one to stop fiddling and exploring, I recently ran across this post where a guy was complaining that they’d messed with the sleep behavior between his trusty Powerbook and the new MacBook. He detailed a tweak that made this already great (albeit occasionally flaky) feature even better along with a good explanation of the details of the change. He claims it’s more reliable but I haven’t had it long enough to say one way or the other yet but I can tell you, my MBP sleeps and wakes nearly instantly now. The only thing that this tweak takes away from you is the ability to swap out batteries while the machine is in sleep mode. Since I didn’t even imagine I could do that and I’m not really sure I would do that anyway since I don’t have any spare batteries, I didn’t feel like I was giving anything up. I’m duplicating the tweak here for reference purposes and you “lazy” folks who aren’t going to go read the original post:

From the terminal, you should check your current mode using:

pmset -g | grep hibernatemode

Then set you machine to use mode 0:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

And reboot.
If you’d like to clear out the file where the memory was being written to, you can use this:

sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

David O’Hara is a Principal with Improving Enterprises in Dallas, Texas.


2 Responses to Speeding up MacBook Pro Sleep & Resume…

  1. Mike says:

    Don’t know when the last time you read that post was, but there is now a Preference Pane that can enable this mode for you in a bit of a better way. That is, it automatically “hibernates” for you if/when the reaches a configurable level (20% is the default). Made by the guy who makes JollysFastVNC: http://www.jinx.de/SmartSleep.html

  2. David O'Hara says:


    I had seen that but since I’m more of a “configure it once” than a “run an app” type guy, this is what appealed to me. YMMV.

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