How To Adjust Macbook Screen Timeout: A Step-By-Step Guide

Quick Answer: To change the screen timeout on your MacBook, you can adjust the Energy Saver settings in your System Preferences.

Have you ever found yourself frustrated by your MacBook’s screen constantly going to sleep or locking itself? It can interrupt your workflow and become a nuisance, especially when you’re in the middle of an important task. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem. By adjusting the screen timeout settings, you can control how long your MacBook takes before it goes to sleep or locks the screen.

In this article, we will walk you through the steps to change the screen timeout on your MacBook. Whether you want to extend the time before your screen goes to sleep or decrease it for battery-saving purposes, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive right in and learn how to customize the screen timeout settings on your MacBook to suit your needs and preferences.

How to Adjust MacBook Screen Timeout: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Change MacBook Screen Timeout


The screen timeout setting on your MacBook determines how long the screen stays on before it automatically turns off to save power. This feature is particularly useful for conserving battery life when your MacBook is idle or not in use. However, some users may prefer to change the default screen timeout period to suit their needs. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of changing the MacBook screen timeout settings to better align with your preferences.

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Understanding Screen Timeout

Screen timeout refers to the period of inactivity after which the screen on your MacBook goes to sleep mode or turns off. By default, macOS sets the screen timeout to a specific duration. However, this duration may not be suitable for everyone, as individual preferences and work situations vary. Changing the screen timeout settings can help enhance your user experience and save battery power.

Step-by-Step Guide: Changing MacBook Screen Timeout

To change the screen timeout settings on your MacBook, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Access System Preferences

1. Click on the Apple menu located on the top left corner of your screen.
2. Select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
3. A new window will open, displaying various system settings.

Step 2: Open Energy Saver Preferences

1. Within the System Preferences window, locate and click on the “Energy Saver” icon. The Energy Saver preferences window will appear.

Step 3: Adjust Screen Timeout Settings

1. In the Energy Saver preferences window, you’ll see a tab labeled “Battery” and another labeled “Power Adapter.” Make sure to adjust the settings for both if necessary.
2. Locate the slider labeled “Turn display off after” or a similar option. This slider determines the duration of inactivity before the screen turns off.
3. Click and drag the slider to the desired duration. You can choose between a few minutes up to several hours, or set it to “Never” if you prefer the screen to never timeout.
4. As you adjust the slider, the timeout duration will be displayed next to it, helping you visualize and select the appropriate setting.

Step 4: Save Changes

1. After adjusting the screen timeout settings to your preference, close the Energy Saver preferences window.
2. The changes you made will be automatically saved, and your MacBook’s screen timeout duration will now reflect your new settings.

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Tips for Optimizing Screen Timeout

While changing the screen timeout duration can be helpful, it’s important to strike a balance to ensure optimal performance and battery life. Consider the following tips:

  • For longer battery life, set a shorter screen timeout duration. This prevents the screen from staying on unnecessarily when not in use.
  • If you frequently refer to information on your screen, consider setting a longer screen timeout duration to avoid constant re-activations.
  • Use the “Never” option sparingly, as keeping the screen continuously active may significantly drain the battery.
  • Remember to adjust both the “Battery” and “Power Adapter” settings, as your MacBook’s behavior may differ depending on whether it’s running on battery or connected to a power source.

Customizing the screen timeout settings on your MacBook allows you to personalize your device and optimize its performance based on your specific needs. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can easily change the screen timeout duration, align it with your preferences, and strike a balance between battery conservation and usability.

Remember that adjusting the screen timeout is just one aspect of managing your MacBook’s power settings. Exploring other options within the Energy Saver preferences may provide additional ways to enhance your overall user experience and extend battery life.

We hope this guide has been helpful in enabling you to change the screen timeout on your MacBook. Enjoy your customized settings and make the most of your device!

Adjusting screen timeout on New M1 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change the screen timeout on my MacBook?

To change the screen timeout on your MacBook, you can follow these steps:

Can I customize the duration before my MacBook screen goes to sleep?

Yes, you can customize the duration before your MacBook screen goes to sleep. You can adjust the screen timeout settings according to your preferences.

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Where can I find the screen timeout settings on my MacBook?

To find the screen timeout settings on your MacBook, go to the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” and then click on “Energy Saver.” From there, you can adjust the settings for both battery and power adapter usage.

Is there a way to disable the screen timeout feature on my MacBook?

Yes, you have the option to disable the screen timeout feature on your MacBook. However, it is recommended to keep the screen timeout enabled to save battery life and prevent screen burn-in.

What is the default screen timeout duration on a MacBook?

The default screen timeout duration on a MacBook is set to 5 minutes. After 5 minutes of inactivity, the screen will go to sleep. You can change this setting to a shorter or longer duration based on your preference.

Will changing the screen timeout settings affect the overall performance of my MacBook?

No, changing the screen timeout settings will not affect the overall performance of your MacBook. It only controls the duration before the screen goes to sleep and does not impact other system functions or processes.

Final Thoughts

To change the screen timeout on your MacBook, follow these simple steps. First, click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.” Next, click on “Energy Saver” and navigate to the “Power Adapter” tab. Here, you can adjust the “Turn display off after” slider to your desired time. Additionally, you can change the timeout settings for when your MacBook is running on battery power. By following these steps, you can easily customize the screen timeout on your MacBook to suit your needs. So, if you want to know how to change MacBook screen timeout, simply follow these instructions.

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