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How to disable sleep on lid close on a MacBook

Macs, and macOS in general, is far less restrictive in nature than iOS. That’s not to say macOS is exceptionally easy to customize or that Apple doesn’t lock parts of it down that, given it were a different OS, users and developers alike, would have easy access to. One such area is the lid close action on a MacBook. If you close the lid on your MacBook, it will go to sleep after a while. There’s no turning it off. There are apps that can disable sleep on a Mac but they cannot disable sleep on lid close on a MacBook. Fermata is a free, open source app that takes a somewhat unique approach to this limitation and allows you to disable the sensor that detects when a MacBook has been closed.

Disable sleep on lid close

Download and install Fermata. It doesn’t need any special permissions to run but it does need to install a helper app in order to work. Once installed, run the app and it will automatically disable sleep on lid close. To activate it, click the Postpone lid close sleep option from the app’s menu bar icon.

Fermata can also prevent sleep when a certain app is running and this is a fairly standard feature in most apps like this. There’s no shortage of them. The reason this one stands out is because it prevents sleep when you close the lid on your MacBook and that too by disabling the sensor that detects the position of the lid itself.

To add other apps that can prevent sleep while Fermata is running, access the app’s preferences and click the Add Application button to add an app. Fermata, by default checks every ten seconds to see if the app(s) on the list is still running so that it can allow or disallow sleep.

As mentioned, this app is activated manually and that too only for ten minutes by default. If you need to leave your MacBook closed for longer, you should first change its run duration from the preferences before you enable it.

Fermata comes with a little risk; if you don’t remember that the app is running you might assume that because your MacBook’s lid is closed, it is in Sleep. In this state, you might move it around or even pack it into a bag/sleeve. If it’s still running this will cause it to overheat since ventilation will be blocked inside a bag. This is why the app is always enabled manually and only for a short period of time by default. If you change the default period, do so with extreme caution.

Need something similar for Windows 10? It has a built-in option to disable sleep when you close a laptop’s lid under power plans.

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