I have a MacBookAir3,2 (late 2010) running 10.9.3.

I want to be able to force the machine to immediately go into "hibernation" mode, but it seems impossible.

The usual answer that I have seen is sudo pmset -a destroyfvkeyonstandby 1 hibernatemode 25 but when I sleep/wake my Mac with those settings, I am not asked for my FileVault password.

Additional Info:

  • Power Nap is disabled for Battery and A/C power
  • Fast User Switching is disabled
  • Preferences » Security & Privacy » General » Require Password is set to “immediately”

I have run sudo pmset -a destroyfvkeyonstandby 1 hibernatemode 25 autopoweroff 1 autopoweroffdelay 14400 standby 1 but note that 'autopoweroff' and 'autopoweroffdelay' are both absent from my pmset settings:

System-wide power settings:
 DestroyFVKeyOnStandby      1
Active Profiles:
Battery Power       -1
AC Power        -1*
Currently in use:
 standbydelay         0
 standby              1
 womp                 1
 halfdim              1
 hibernatefile        /var/vm/sleepimage
 darkwakes            0
 networkoversleep     0
 disksleep            10
 sleep                180
 hibernatemode        25
 ttyskeepawake        1
 displaysleep         10
 acwake               0
 lidwake              1

Putting the computer to sleep, either by closing the lid or sudo shutdown -s now and then waking it back up within a minutes or two does not require me to enter my FileVault password, just my regular account password.

Is there a way for me to force the Mac to hibernate?

  • 1
    what exactly are your tying to accomplish here? The immediate hibernate? why? and what is it with FileVault?
    – Ruskes
    May 19, 2014 at 8:45
  • 1
    Yes I'm trying to put the MacBook into secure sleep, as discussed here: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/39294/…
    – TJ Luoma
    May 19, 2014 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


I had simmilar issue and it was because my Macbook Air was connected to charger. When I disconnected it before closing lid - Mac went to hibernation as supposed.

Then I've read on somewhere ( forgot source ) that Mac won't go into hibernation mode until you plug out all external devices ( USB etc. ) and disconnect power adaptor. When it's connected to power it won't go to hibernate under any circumstantes ( so it's better to shut it down if you have to charge it ).


Since you have a flash based hard drive this shouldn't be relevant but may be worth ruling out....

When your Mac hibernates it writes the contents of the ram to your hard drive, if your MBA is equipped with a non- flash hard drive this takes a non-trivial amount of time during which it isn't yet hibernating. This tuaw post explains how to circumvent. http://www.tuaw.com/2011/08/22/why-hibernate-or-safe-sleep-mode-is-no-longer-necessary-in-os/

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