On, Off, and Sleep

If you’re the only person who uses your Mac, finishing up a work session is simple. You can either turn off the machine or simply let it go to sleep, in any of several ways.

Sleep Mode

Apple expects its customers not to shut down their machines between sessions, and that’s fine. Instead, you’re encouraged to use sleep mode (formerly called Standby on the PC). Sleep mode consumes very little power, keeps everything you were doing open and in memory, and wakes the Mac almost immediately when you press a key or click the mouse. To make your machine sleep, use any of these techniques:

  • Close the lid. (Hint: This tip works only on laptops.)

  • ChooseSleep. Or press Option--.

  • Press Control- (or Control-F12, if you don’t have a key). In the dialog box shown in Figure 1-4, click Sleep (or type S).

  • Press the power button () on your machine. On desktop models, doing so makes it sleep immediately; on laptops, you get the dialog box shown in Figure 1-4.

    Once the Shut Down dialog box appears, you can press the S key instead of clicking Sleep, R for Restart, Esc for Cancel, or Return for Shut Down.

    Figure 1-4. Once the Shut Down dialog box appears, you can press the S key instead of clicking Sleep, R for Restart, Esc for Cancel, or Return for Shut Down.

  • Just walk away, confident that the Energy Saver setting described in Color Tab will send the machine off to dreamland automatically at the specified time.


You shouldn’t have to restart the Mac very often—only in times of severe troubleshooting mystification, in fact. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Choose Restart. A confirmation dialog box appears; click Restart (or press Return).


    If you press Option as you release the mouse on the →Restart command, then you won’t be bothered by an “Are you sure?” confirmation box.

  • Press Control--. (If you don’t have that key, substitute F12.)

  • Press Control- to summon the dialog box shown in Figure 1-4; click Restart (or type R).

Shut Down

To shut down your machine completely (when you don’t plan to use it for more than a couple of days, when you plan to transport it, and so on), do one of the following:

  • Choose Shut Down. A simple confirmation dialog box appears; click Shut Down (or press Return).


    Once again, if you press Option as you release the mouse, no confirmation box appears.

  • Press Control-Option--. (It’s not as complex as it looks—the first three keys are all in a tidy row to the left of the space bar.)

  • Press Control- (or Control-F12) to summon the dialog box shown in Figure 1-4. Click Shut Down (or press Return).

  • Wait. If you’ve set up the Energy Saver preferences (Color Tab) to shut down the Mac automatically at a specified time, then you don’t have to do anything.

The “Reopen windows” Option

In the Shut Down dialog box illustrated in Figure 1-4, you’ll notice one of Lion’s most-hyped new features: a checkbox called “Reopen windows when logging back in.” That simple box does something very useful: The next time you start up your Mac, every running program, and every open window, will reopen exactly as it was at the moment you used the Restart or Shut Down command. The new option gives the Mac something like the old Hibernate feature in Windows—and saves you a lot of reopening the next time you sit down to work.

If you turn off that checkbox when you click Restart or Shut Down, then your next startup will take you to the desktop, with no programs running, as though this were still some year between 1984 and 2010. And if you want the Mac to stop asking—if you never want your programs and windows to reopen—then open →System Preferences→General and turn off “Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps.”

Log Out

If you share your Mac with other people, then you should log out when you’re done. Doing so ensures that your stuff is safe from the evil and the clueless when you’re out of the room. To do it, choose →Log Out (or press Shift--Q). When the confirmation dialog box appears, click Log Out, press Return, or just wait for 2 minutes. The Mac hides your world from view and displays the login dialog box, ready for its next victim.

Another option is to use fast user switching—a feature that lets you switch from one user to another without actually logging out, just as in Windows. With fast user switching turned on, your Mac can have several people logged in at once, although only one person at a time actually sees his own desktop.

In either case, this whole accounts system is described in much more detail in Chapter 14.


If you press the Option key as you release the mouse when choosing the Restart, Shut Down, or Log Out commands, you eliminate the “Are you sure?” confirmation dialog box. The saved mouse clicks can really add up.

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