How To Fix a Mac That is Stuck Asleep

Putting your Mac to sleep is an effective way to manage your power consumption without having to do a lot of turning off and on again, and for most Macs, this process goes off without a hitch. Some users who have installed the Lion OS have been reporting problems with the system waking up after it goes down for a nap. If you have found yourself stuck in this situation, have no fear. Today, we are going to look at some of the ways that you can use to wake it up, in order from the simplest and fastest solutions to the more complex answers that you may want to employ.

Get Off The Mouse


You may be used to waking your laptop with its track pad, or your desktop with the swipe of your mouse, but for some reason, this does not always do the trick. Before you do anything complicated, book a genius appointment or even get angry try tapping on a key a few times. Users are reporting that this seems to work best with the space bar, though any key will do the trick. You may however want to avoid using keys like control, option, or command, since depending on where you left off, you could make inadvertent changes to your system or applications that will have to be fixed. Accidentally typing “p” four times isn’t a big deal compared to some of the other things you could do to your system. If this doesn’t work, you may want to also try giving the power button a light tap. Don’t hold it, or you will shut the system down. Literally, tap in a manner similar to a mouse click.

If this fixed your problem, huzzah! If not, you need to move onto the next step; a hard reset.

Just Breathe and Reboot!

This is not a recommended way to shut down your computer on a regular basis, but in some cases, it is the only way to go. All you need to do in order to do this is hold down your power button until the sleep indicator light (usually found on the bottom right side of the front face of your case, is dark. Then you can wait a few seconds for the restart. If for some reason, your machine does not restart as normal at this point, you will want to either call the Apple Care line or book an appointment with a local Genius Bar since you may have a more serious power management issues at hand.

These solutions both work well for one time (or generally infrequent) waking issues, but if you are having more chronic issues with waking slowly, or not at all, there is one thing that we can try.

Reset the System Management Controller

An improperly running System Management Controller can cause a whole host of issues, including problems with sleep mode, case fans, improper lighting, and about 20 other things. If you want to give this a shot, it has a good shot of helping you out in more ways than one. Please note that the procedure you will use depends on the type of Mac you have. Find the right type below and follow only those instructions.

A Macbook (or other mobile device) With A Removable Battery

1. Shut down your Mac and, if needed, unplug it from the power cord.


2. Take out the battery the way you usually would. There is usually a well-marked release mechanism on the bottom of the device.

3. Hold the power button for five seconds, no shorter and no longer.

4. Put the battery back in.

5. Re-plug in your power supply, if needed, and turn your Mac back on.

A Macbook (or other mobile device) Without A Removable Battery

1. Shut down your Mac and plug in the power cord.

2. Press on the Shift-Control-Option keys on the left side of your keyboard simultaneously with the power cord. Be sure that you also release them all at the same time.


3. Turn your Mac back on.

A Desktop Mac

1. Shut down your Mac and unplug its power cord.

2. Wait for 15 seconds.

3. Re-attach the power cord to your Mac and wait five more seconds.

4. Re-start your Mac as usual.

If this does not do the trick, you may want to see a genius.

Katie Gatto

Katie Gatto is a technology writer with seven years of experience, and a native Mac user. She has previously written for Apple related site such as Appletell and Mac Apper.

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