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We have carts of MacBooks and MacBook Pros that students use and close the lid and put them back in cart when they are done. They use wireless networking and don't have USB or displays connected. I am wondering if there is any way we can wake the MacBook remotely using wireless (WoWLAN?). We don't want to have the setting where MacBook doesn't sleep when lid is closed. Is there any way we can wake them on and have them connect to our wireless when their lid is closed? The remote management software we use couldn't work when they are in the cart overnight.

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Apple now says yes: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204032

If your Mac supports Power Nap, these activities can occur while your Mac is asleep:
[...]
Mobile Device Management can remotely lock and wipe your Mac.

And these activities can occur while your Mac is asleep and plugged in to an AC power outlet:

Software updates download.
Mac App Store items (including software updates), download in the background.
Time Machine performs backups.
Spotlight performs indexing.
Help Center content updates.
Wireless base stations can wake your Mac using Wake on Wireless.

Assuming Power Nap is on AND the laptop cart is a powered one AND is actually plugged into the wall (yes, that one's from experience), you should be able to reach them remotely. Apple Remote Desktop does with 10.11 and 10.12.

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No - the only way to wake a Mac when the lid is shut is to connect a USB keyboard and display as described in closed clamshell mode for the specific models of MacBook you have.

Unless your MDM provider somehow modifies the OS to get it to connect during power nap (highly unlikely), then you will need to perform management before they are put in the cart or after they are taken out of the cart.

  • I am not sure why would someone connect a display to a macbook especially when you have like 500 macbooks in different carts. Our main goal is to remote into macbooks while they are closed in their cart. We can change the setting where it doesn't go to sleep with lid closed but that would be a very bad solution and would decrease their lifetime. There should be a way where we can wake them up using wifi. Send a wake on wlan packet, wake them up, run maintenance tools remotely and shut them down. IS it possible? – Damon Aug 1 '14 at 15:07

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