Power button functions on OS X

OSX_Dec23_AFor people who are out of the office, or need to be mobile on a regular basis, the laptop has become an indispensable tool. One of the most popular types of laptops are undoubtedly MacBooks. Most newer laptops can be upgraded to OS X Mavericks, and this brings some interesting changes, one of which is what your power button does on your Mac laptop.

Quick press of the power button

If your laptop is on, pressing the power button quickly, as in a tap and release without holding, will turn your screen off. What this actually does is put your Mac to sleep – the screen will be off, and hard drives will stop spinning, while your work and open programs remaining open.

To wake your computer up, simply tap and hold the spacebar down for about half a second. You should see the screen come back on with your programs open. You can also tap the power button again, without holding it down. This feature is actually available for all computers using OS X Mavericks, but works best on Mac laptops because the power button is more easily accessible.

Press the power button for 1.5 seconds

Pressing the power button for around 1.5 seconds brings up the familiar shutdown options window. You can then select from either Restart, Sleep, Cancel or Shut Down.

It is advisable to save all of your work, and ensure that any windows and programs are closed before trying to shut down, sleep or restart your machine. You can tick Reopen windows when logging back in, which will re-open any currently open windows when your computer starts up again.

Press the power button for 5 seconds

By pressing and holding the power button for five seconds, you will force your computer to turn off. Most people will do this when their computer has frozen, or isn’t working properly. While this can be useful, it’s not the best option for your computer, especially if you have programs open.

Forcing your computer to turn off will stop all operations and close all programs, regardless of whether you’ve saved your work or not. So, be sure to save your work and close programs if you can before shutting down. Most experts agree that you should not turn your computer off this way, if at all possible, as a forced shutdown should only be executed when your computer is not responding. When you go to shut your computer down, press the power button for 1.5 seconds and select Shut Down from the window that opens.

Two different ways to get to the shutdown menu window

If your laptop or keyboard doesn’t have a power button you can actually open the shutdown menu by pressing Control + Eject (the eject button which is on most Mac keyboards). If you have a laptop or keyboard with a power button, but don’t want to put your computer to sleep or force it to shut down, hold Control and tap the power button to open the shutdown window.

If you are looking to learn more about using Apple’s computers in your office, please call us today.

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