Keeping your Mac awake

Need your Mac to stay awake? Before opening System Preferences and messing with your Energy Saver settings, you might want to consider these tools.

Have you ever had this experience? You're downloading a big file, or perhaps compiling a big piece of software. Whatever it is, it's something that will take a fair amount of time, so you decide to go grab a cup of coffee. When you come back, though, your Mac is asleep, and the important process you entrusted your Mac with didn't get anywhere. Now, the urge to pour that cup of coffee on your computer may be strong, but there are better ways to give your device that "caffeine boost" than destroying your device through water damage.

Caffeinate

Caffeinate

The first is very simple and is a command line utility that is built into all versions of macOS since 10.10 Yosemite.

Just open a Terminal window, and type caffeinate. Now, macOS will stay awake until you close the utility by hitting Ctrl+C.

If you want to go a bit fancier, there are numerous options and flags available, such as caffeinate -u, which will prevent your screen from dimming, or caffeinate -t 600, which will prevent idle sleep on your Mac for the next 600 seconds.

KeepingYouAwake

KeepingYouAwake

A command line utility that already comes with any modern macOS version is nice, but wouldn't it be nice if you could do all that without having to open the terminal, right from your menu bar? Well, KeepingYouAwake is the tool for that. Designed as a successor to the famous, but sadly outdated Caffeine.app, KeepingYouAwake provides a nice graphical way of keeping macOS awake. Underneath, it relies on the same caffeinate utility described above, but also comes with a lot of convenient features. Going beyond just setting timers, it can also automatically allow your Mac to rest if it's running low on battery.

KeepingYouAwake's very simple options

You can get KeepingYouAwake on GitHub by following the link below, or download it via Homebrew Cask by running brew cask install keepingyouawake.