How to Rest a MacBook Pro in 3 Steps (with Photos)

MacBook Pro M2 vs MacBook Pro M1

How to Rest a MacBook Pro in 3 Steps (with Photos)

There are many different ways to treat a device when you’re finished using it. You can leave it on until you return to it, you can shut it down completely, or you can put it to rest.

Existing as an in-between state that isn’t quite powered on but not totally shut off, resting a device gives you the benefits of a shutdown with the advantages of leaving the device at the ready for you when you return.

But how do you do it on a MacBook Pro? What are the necessary steps? Follow along with us to learn how!

Why Rest a MacBook Pro?

Resting a MacBook Pro is an excellent way to save yourself both time and energy. By putting your MacBook Pro into sleep mode, you’re able to cut down on the energy consumed by your MacBook Pro when fully powered on.

The screen turns off, many of the major functions are reduced or completely shut off, and most of the background tasks are reduced or outright ceased in the meantime. Plus, unlike totally shutting down the laptop, waking the MacBook Pro from its resting state is nearly instantaneous. When it comes down to it, these are the main reasons to rest a MacBook Pro: save energy, preserve battery life, and protect your MacBook Pro’s screen life.

Your only other option is stepping beyond sleep and fully shutting down the MacBook Pro. This isn’t always preferable, though. Unlike sleep, a full shutdown stops all functions and takes a lot longer to power back on by comparison. It’s not the best choice for those who plan to come back to the MacBook Pro soon.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with fully shutting down the MacBook Pro when you’re done using it — even if you plan to come back to it in an hour or two. It will certainly save you more energy and save you more screen life, but that’s where it stops.

Sleep mode is all about saving time and energy in one. You get the benefit of a quick power-up that you don’t really get when you shut down your MacBook Pro. This is what’s so appealing when you rest a MacBook Pro. Your screen is off, your power consumption is down, but you can quickly wake it and get back to work.

The following video from Proper Honest Tech provides a variety of compelling reasons why you should put your Mac to sleep instead of shutting it down.

How to Rest a MacBook Pro: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know why you might want to rest a MacBook Pro, it’s time to explain exactly how you do it. Luckily, there aren’t many steps involved and the process is remarkably easy to follow along with.

For reference, this guide is tailored specifically for MacBook Pros. While other laptops (both from Apple and from other brands) have a rest mode, as well, these steps are just for the MacBook Pro. With this in mind, let’s walk through the process below.

Step 1: Click the Apple Icon

To rest a MacBook Pro, you’re going to want to begin by navigating to the apple icon in the top lefthand corner of the screen. Once you’ve found it, click it once to bring down the dropdown menu. You’ll see a number of options, but we’re only looking for one in particular.

how to rest a macbook pro
Click the apple icon in the upper lefthand corner of your desktop screen.

Step 2: Click Sleep

After you’ve opened the dropdown menu under the apple icon, move your mouse down to the option that says Sleep and click it. (This can be found below the option that says Force Quit… and above the options to restart or shut down.)

how to rest a macbook pro
Click Sleep.

Step 3: Let Device Sleep

Once you’ve clicked Sleep, you will have officially learned how to rest a MacBook Pro. This next step is just as important as the previous two, however: once you’ve put the MacBook Pro to sleep, you have to let it sleep.

Tapping any buttons, moving the mouse, pressing any keys, or opening up the laptop from being closed will wake the MacBook Pro out of its rest mode. This will put you back to square one. If you want your device to rest, you need to let it sleep. Don’t touch anything unless you want to wake it up.

Another Way to Rest a MacBook Pro

At the end of the day, while shutting down ultimately saves more power, the margin is incredibly slim. There’s hardly a difference between a MacBook Pro’s power consumption when sleeping versus powered down. For this reason, you can safely and confidently rest a MacBook Pro without fear of battery or hard drive damage.

But, as is often the case, there’s actually more than one way to rest a MacBook Pro. There’s the steps to rest a MacBook Pro that we’ve listed above, or there’s this even quicker way: simply closing the MacBook Pro’s screen and walking away from it.

That’s right! You can also rest a MacBook Pro by closing the screen. This is a much faster, much easier way of accomplishing the same goal. Then, to wake it from sleep, all you need to do is raise the screen again and, sometimes, press a button after. Both methods ultimately bring about the same result: putting a MacBook Pro into rest mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to rest a MacBook Pro?

Resting a MacBook Pro means you’re putting the laptop into sleep mode. Sleep mode keeps all of your tabs and activities at the ready, but it powers off the screen and halts many other background functions to conserve battery and screen life. A MacBook Pro can be easily raised out of rest mode by hitting any key or the power button on the MacBook keyboard.

What's the difference between resting a MacBook Pro and shutting it down?

When you rest a MacBook Pro, you’re keeping all of your activities and tasks powered on and ready to be used again, but you’re shutting off the screen and other energy-consuming background activities that might otherwise drain your battery if left on. Shutting down, however, involves powering down everything on the MacBook Pro and halting all your in-progress activities and tasks. Additionally, it’s a lot easier to wake a MacBook Pro from rest than from a shutdown.

Does shutting a MacBook Pro shut it down?

Shutting down a MacBook Pro can be achieved by pressing and holding the power button or by clicking Shut down… button on the dropdown menu after clicking the apple icon in the top left corner. This does not include shutting the MacBook Pro screen, however. When you shut a MacBook Pro, you are merely putting it into rest mode (or sleep mode, depending on your lingo).

How do I wake up a MacBook Pro?

To wake up a MacBook Pro, you can do one of several things. If the screen is shut, you can simply open up the screen again and wait for the screen to turn on. If the MacBook Pro was put into rest mode while open, you can click the trackpad or press any key on the keyboard. You can also try shutting the screen and opening it back up again. Any one of these options should raise the MacBook Pro from rest mode.

Can you shut down a MacBook Pro while in sleep mode?

If you put your MacBook Pro into sleep mode instead of shutting it down like you intended to do, fear not! There is still a way you can shut down the MacBook Pro without waking it from sleep mode. All you need to do is hold down the power button in the top righthand corner of the keyboard. After a few seconds, the MacBook Pro will shut down. To wake it, you must press the power button again.

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