For a recent MacBook Pro, lid closed, non-Apple keyboard: can I map some key (like F15) to be the same as the Apple power key so I can do a full shutdown and start up without opening the lid?


Launchers like Alfred.app allow you to assign keyboard shortcuts to run commands (it has built in ones for restart and shut down).

There is a default shortcut alt+cmd+eject for putting the computer to sleep.

Additionally, control+alt+eject will log you out, and;

shift+control+eject will sleep your displays (and keyboard lights if you have them).

As for booting the computer without using the power button, I'm not sure that's possible, as I don't think the laptop gives power to the keyboard while it's powered off.

You could setup something like scheduled startup/shutdown, to automatically boot at the set time. Find this in the Energy Saver preference pane.

Update: Newer laptops don't have an eject button, but instead the button in the top right corner of the keyboard is the power button. The above shortcuts will work with the power button i.e. shift+control+power for turning off the displays.

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  • Welcome to Ask Different, Geoffrey! I made a few changes to your answer. Those being that the computer does not sleep when you use the A+C+E keyboard shortcut, only the display(s) do. Also, the StackExchange network has a cool HTML tag in <kbd>, we use it to represent when keyboard keys are being used, so I've modified your answer to take advantage of that. – Jason Salaz May 26 '11 at 16:36
  • Thanks for the greetings! Those kbd tags are neat. But I was right about the sleeping, try it :) I've added some other combinations for further clarification. – geoffreyd May 31 '11 at 0:03
  • I think my brain transposed Command for Control. Sorry about that. I also forgot that other combinations of Alt, Control, and Command have other functions. Also, my statement of "A+C+E" was ambiguous since C can mean Control or Command. We're both right, I guess :). – Jason Salaz May 31 '11 at 0:40

I do not believe this is possible.

You can schedule your Mac to power on automatically using Energy Saver or our Power Manager software. This requires setting specific times for starting up and shutting down.

If the lid is closed, your Mac should start up on schedule. It will then immediately go into sleep mode because the lid is closed. This appears to be a deliberate design choice by Apple's engineers to avoid overheating your Mac.

To run with the lid closed, you must start up with lid open and have an external display connected. Only with an external display connected can you close your MacBook Pro's lid and avoid automatic sleep; doing anything else is not supported by Apple.

The exact behaviour you will see also depends on which MacBook Pro you have. Power features and capabilities tend to change between hardware revisions.

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