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We have an iMac in the office, and I have been getting inconsistent access when trying to log in to it. The firewall isn't going down, since I can connect to the VPN. After discussing it with the people at the office, we suspect that the iMac is going to sleep.

Is it possible to keep the iMac "awake" 24 hours a day? How do I instruct the people at the office to configure the iMac? What settings should be changed? The iMac is running OS X Lion 10.7.3.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can disable sleeping in the Energy Saver preference pane of System Preferences.

enter image description here


Alternatively, you can use a free app called Caffeine to easily prevent your Mac from sleeping just with a click of the mouse. Both work exactly the same, but Caffeine makes it easier to dynamically switch between the two settings.

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There are two main things that would make connecting to the iMac difficult over VPN, the machine going to sleep being one and being assigned a different IP address over DHCP being the other.

The settings for sleep are stored in the Energy Saver preference pane in System Preferences.

Energy Saver

There is a slider for Computer Sleep, slide this to 'Never'. This will mean the machine will never sleep automatically.

Never sleep

There are options for waking over LAN too if you desperately need things to sleep.

Wake on LAN


If you still experience issues after this you may find that you need to configure a manual IP in the firewall and in the Network preference pane, again in System Preferences.

I don't have a 10.7 system here for screenshots otherwise I'd add some. If someone edits with some or if I get home to grab some that would be ideal.

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