Mavericks Tip: How to disable power button sleep in 10.9

Greetings Mac Community!

Back in January I blogged about “How to Instantly Lock your OS X Screen in 10.9‘.

In this blog I mentioned that Mavericks has changed the default behaviour when pressing the Power button key.

You can no longer simply press the power button key to bring up the ‘Restart, Sleep, Cancel, Shut Down’ pop up.

In Mavericks, you can hold down the Control key whilst pressing either the power button or the Media Eject key (eject button mavericks) if you have one, to bring up this menu to quickly choose one of these options:

disable power button in mavericks

As an update to this feature, here’s a couple of additional useful pieces of information.

Firstly, if you press the power button for less than a half a second on a Mavericks computer, this will initiate the “sleep” or “wake” your Mac feature.

However, if you press and hold the power button for at least 2 seconds, (Apple state 1.5 seconds!) this will bring up the additional ‘Restart, Sleep, Cancel, Shut Down’ options. So the feature is still there, but it requires HOLDING the power button down instead of just pressing it.

Secondly, you can actually disable the power button sleep feature so that pressing the power button will bring up the ‘Restart, Sleep, Cancel, Shut Down’ pop up menu.

Here’s how to completely disable the power button sleep feature:

Simply enter the following command in Terminal, ensuring you are logged in as an admin user:

sudo defaults write com.apple.loginwindow
PowerButtonSleepsSystem -bool no

I have noticed that this command seems to be unreliable on older models which have a SILVER power button. If you have a newer Mac with a BLACK power button then this command works fine!

Thirdly, you can force the Mac to immediately turn off by holding down the power button key for at least 5 seconds.

Important: You may lose unsaved documents if you force the computer to turn off this way. Use this method for turning off your Mac only if it has become unresponsive for an extended period of time.

Normally you should shut down the computer by selecting “Shut Down” from the Apple menu, or from the shut down dialog as pictured above.

Apple has posted full details of the power button sleep feature in Mavericks on this Apple Support Article.

To learn how to support and troubleshoot OS X Mavericks, come on our OS X Support Essentials 10.9 course!

Disclaimer:

While the author has taken care to provide our readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before acting upon information based on the blog post. Amsys will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.

This feature has been tested using OS X v10.9.2 which was the latest Mac OS release at the time of writing.

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