Computer On Stage: How To Run a MacBook in Clamshell Mode

It is sometimes handy to hide your Mac on stage (in a rack or under a pedalboard), to keep it safe, or simply avoid that someone closes it while you are playing…

You may have noticed however that whenever you close the lid, the Mac will instantly go to sleep, which can be very annoying when you are playing music through it.

Here is a way to fully disable sleep mode on a Macbook so that it keeps running when closed.

Warning #1: using a laptop with its lid closed may cause overheating
and may damage it (especially the Intel Macs).
Use this at your own risk!

Warning #2: do NOT leave the Mac in this mode forever, as it will NEVER go to sleep.
You should re-activate sleep mode every time you do not need the clamshell mode anymore.

How To Disable Sleep Mode

Open the terminal and type the following (admin password required):

sudo pmset -b disablesleep 1

This will completely disable the sleep mode, and the Mac will keep running when closing the lid! You can now run your favorite audio software on stage while keeping your Mac closed (and safe).

Once you are done, you can then type the following command to re-activate sleep (DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS!)

sudo pmset -b disablesleep 0

Did we mention that you should NEVER KEEP YOUR MAC WITH SLEEP MODE DISABLED FOR A LONG TIME? Just checking… 🙂

Enjoy, have a good time making music!

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