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keep mac awakeKeep your Mac awake for a set amount of time. Sleep No More is a (Mountain Lion only) Mac app that lives in the Mac’s menu bar, letting you delay the slumber of your Mac by whatever interval you please. Being a Mac app, there’s even a delightfully unnecessary animated timer.

There are plenty of tips out there for making your Mac sleep more efficiently Make Your Mac Sleep More Efficiently with SafeSleep Make Your Mac Sleep More Efficiently with SafeSleep Read More , but what about those moments when you wish your Mac would simply stay awake? You might know you can keep your Mac awake indefinitely using Caffeine Keep Your Mac Awake With A Dose Of Caffeine Keep Your Mac Awake With A Dose Of Caffeine Read More , but there are times you probably don’t want to do this either – times when you want your computer to stay awake for a while, then go to sleep without your input.

Maybe you want your Mac to stay awake for a set amount of time for a specific purpose, such as displaying a demonstration or completing a download? Maybe you want your game to stay open while you tend to something in the kitchen? Or maybe you just want to make sure your massive podcast backload downloads in iTunes instead of stopping when your computer goes to sleep? Whatever your reason for delaying your computer’s rest, Sleep No More does so for however long you want.

You Can Sleep When You’re Dead

As I said earlier, Sleep No More lives in the menu bar of your Mac. Click its icon and you’ll soon see the previously mentioned timer:

keep mac awake

Click the “Postpone Sleep Mode” button to delay sleeping by your default (one hour if you’ve not yet changed any settings). Alternatively, you can drag the timer to whatever time you please – your computer will stay awake for precisely that amount of time.


Looking for more options? There aren’t many, but clicking the gear at the bottom-left gives you a few:

keep mac from sleeping

Here you can exist the program or check for updates; you’ll also find the preferences for the program:

keep mac awake

Decide whether you want to delay the screen or the system from going to sleep – or both. Change the delay that occurs when you click the “Postpone Sleep Mode” button by editing the “Default Duration“. Also feel free to set this app to start up every time your Mac does, or turn off the sound effects. There’s not a lot to configure, but there doesn’t have to be. This app does what it sets out to do brilliantly.

The only problem is that this app will keep your computer from falling asleep but does nothing to prevent you from doing so. This obvious bug could be fixed using free coffee deliveries, but that seems like something a free app won’t include any time soon. Oh well. Seriously, the app is so great that ridiculous complaints like this are all I can think of. Great job, Konstantin Pavlikhin.

Download Sleep No More

Ready to give this app a spin? Head to SleepNoMoreApp for a free download. It’s not in the Mac App Store, so you’ll need to perform the traditional icon moving dance. You crazy kids and your Mac App Store…when I was your age, we dragged icons to our Applications folder, and we liked it! Now get off my lawn!


If you want your Mac to simply stay awake, Caffeine is probably what you’re looking for. If you want your Mac to stay awake for a set amount of time, however, Sleep No More is your new ideal app for the job.

These two apps are by no means the only tools for the job, however. Should I Sleep senses watches and listens to make sure you’re not around before your Mac goes to sleep, and is perfect for ensuring your Mac only sleeps when you’re not in the room (be aware, however, that it can’t tell the difference between yourself and your cat).

If you’re a PC user looking for a similar solution, there are tools for preventing your Windows hard drive from going to sleep Prevent Your Hard Drives From Going To Sleep With KeepAliveHD Prevent Your Hard Drives From Going To Sleep With KeepAliveHD This must have happened to you often enough: while working on something from your hard drive (no matter if internal or external), the system eventually puts it into a "sleep mode" where it'll take a... Read More and for preventing your PC from falling asleep. Check them out before commenting below, asking for a similar PC tool. We’ll mock you if you do that.

Also feel free to chime in about Sleep No More and similar tools that you like to use.

Image Credit: Julius Schorzman

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  1. Konstantin Pavlikhin
    January 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Justin, thank you for the great review of my little app! I just wanna to add that a couple of days ago Sleep No More hit Mac App Store. It's still free, here is the link to the MAS page:

    • Justin Pot
      January 14, 2013 at 4:50 am

      Thanks for stopping by! I'll be sure to let those kids I kicked off my lawn know that they can use the app store instead of dragging icons, then...

  2. Adam Campbell
    January 13, 2013 at 12:33 am

    thanks a lot for finding this. And I did indeed laugh out loud at the kids on the lawn thought.

  3. Andrew
    January 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I use the command line app `caffeinate`. You can set it to wait a certain number of seconds, or until another utility has done it's job. I haven't tried the second option yet, but the first one works well. Not as pretty as Sleep No More, but sometimes there's a utility in using the built-in apps.

    More info:

    • Justin Pot
      January 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Nice one!