Power Up - Shut Down - Sleep - Restart

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Power Up
To start using your Mac, you'll need to power it up.  The location of the power button depends on the Mac model and particular revision that you own.
For example, it is placed on the front of the Mac Pro, on the back of the iMac and Mac mini, and underneath the lid on the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air.

Shut Down

It is advised that you use a proper shut down procedure when you would like to turn off your Mac.  If you attempt to turn it off by pressing and holding the power button you run the risk of loosing unsaved data and increase the chance of damaging hardware, more specifically the hard drive.  There are several ways to shut down your Mac.  We'll cover a few of these methods.

Use the Apple Menu

shudown_01.pngA box will appear asking you to confirm your choice to shutdown and begins a countdown.  To confirm either click Shut Down or press the Return (Enter) key.

Use the Keyboard

  • Simultaneously press the Control-Command-Eject keys.
  • Simultaneously press the Control-Option-Command-Eject keys
If any applications have unsaved changes, Mac OS X will ask you what to do before it proceeds with the shut down.  Note that Mac OS X will cycle through all applications that have any unsaved changes or require you to verify an action before it is closed.  In the following example, we see that the application TextEdit is asking if changes to a document should be preserved.

If you click "Don't Save" you will loose any unsaved changes for that application.  If you click "Save" and save the changes, your Mac will continue with the shut down sequence.  If you click "Cancel" the shut down sequence will be terminate and a dialog box similar to the following will be shown:

Press Control-Eject

  • Simultaneously press the Control-Eject keys to display the following and then click Shut Down:

Hold the Power Button (be careful before doing this)
  • Press and hold the power button for several seconds.  Your Mac will abruptly turn off.
If you attempt to turn your Mac off by pressing and holding the power button you run the risk of loosing unsaved work and increase the chance of damaging hardware, pecifically the hard drive.

Windows users are familiar with the Stanby mode.  Mac OS X offers a similar mode called Sleep.  When you put a Mac to sleep you do not loose unsaved work as everything still resides in memory and all open applications remain active.  It's as though your Mac is just taking a break by napping.  Just like shutting down, there are several ways to put a Mac to sleep.  You can use similar procedures as outlined in Shut Down above for:
  • Use the Apple Menu
  • Use the Keyboard
  • Press Control-Eject
  • Close the lid (only applies to Mac portables)
Other ways to put your Mac to sleep include a quick press of the power button or leaving your Mac alone.  If the Sleep configuration in the Energy Saver in System Preferences is not set to "Never" your Mac will go to sleep depending on the time configuration.

To wake a sleeping Mac just press a key on the keyboard or press the mouse.  You may be asked to enter a password before the Mac will "wake up" depending on the security settings in System Preferences.

If you ever need to restart your Mac you can use one of several procedures.  Once again you can use similar procedures as outlined for Shut Down and Sleep:
  • Use the Apple Menu
  • Press Control-Eject
  • Press Control-Command-Eject
  • April 29, 2009 - content revision and images updates
Created: 12:15 PM on Jan 3, 2007
By: switchtoamac