How To Use The Three Power Button States In Mavericks [OS X Tips]

power button

You probably know that you can press the power button on your Mac to get it to sleep or even turn off.

As has been true for a while, now, you can use the power button on your Mac to manage your Mac in three different ways. The specifics of what each type of button press has changed recently in Mavericks, as Apple states on its knowledge base article about the new power button features.

When your Mac is on, tap the power button once to put it to sleep. To wake it up again, you can tap the power button once more, or hit the more traditional Space bar.

Apple says, “Press the power button for less than a half a second to sleep or wake your Mac. This duration is similar to pressing the Space bar or Return key to wake your Mac. The power button works this way across all Macs using OS X Mavericks, including both notebook and desktop computers.”

HT5869_shutdown_dialog_en

To activate the Shut Down Dialog box, with the Restart, Sleep, Shut Down, and Cancel buttons on it, all you need to do is hold the power button down for about 1.5 seconds to bring it up.

Finally, if your Mac becomes unresponsive, you can force it to shut down by holding the power button down for about five seconds. Note, though, that Apple says,

You may lose unsaved documents if you force the computer to turn off this way. Use this method of 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.

So, there you have it, the three ways to use the power button on your Mac to your best advantage. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

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  • HBTonly

    I have tried NUMEROUS times and can’t get the 1.5 second press right on a 2010 MBP. However, if you press “control- ” it brings up the same dialog.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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