I just got a Macbook pro 2014 old retina version. When the display switches off, like its going to sleep and I quickly hit a key to wake it back up. It shows a black screen with a cursor for about 15-20 seconds before the login screen appears. Its only if I do it instantly after the screen switches off. If I leave it off for sometime it comes back instantly...

Its not a problem when I don't log back in and let the screen go black from the login prompt.

I also tried to totally disable the show login screen after screensaver/sleep option and it still take a while to go from black to my desktop.

This is a problem if I have an external display plugged in or no displays attached. Its really annoying because I want stop it from sleeping because I want to do my office work I expect it return from sleep vey quickly

1 Answer 1


If the screen is going off at the same time that the system is sleeping, you're likely seeing a delay from the system writing its hibernation files. By default, OS X sets up sleep such that if power fails, the system can restore itself when it's plugged in again.

Generally, I advise against this, but if you wish to experiment with disabling hibernation, use the following command in Terminal:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

You can restore the normal hibernation mode setting with:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 1

If your HDD is low on free space, writing large files will be very slow because of extreme fragmentation. Freeing up disk space can make a significant improvement in performance.

Edited to add:

A workaround for this may be to set your screensaver/display sleep time to be earlier than your system sleep time. Even if it's only by a minute or two, it will change the dynamics of your interaction with the system.

  • The screen is not returning to login page right after the display switches off, it is taking 20-25 seconds to get the login page. But it returns quickly when I left it for hours or so by just a hit on key.I don't know what is the issue with that?
    – user93338
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 23:27
  • The delay is that it cannot get quickly back to the login screen while it's busy writing its hibernation files to disk, which involves many gigabytes of data. This is known as blocking I/O because it ties up the system and basically makes it unusable until the I/O is finished. When you're resuming use from sleep, it doesn't actually read these hibernation files, so the resume is very quick. (See updated answer for a possible workaround.) Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 0:01
  • I have this very same problem. But there's nothing wrong with my mac right? Its just the hibernating thing doing its job
    – user95608
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 13:40
  • @Davina, if you set your screen to blank prior to your system going to sleep, that could resolve any delay you see. In my case, I have the display and system set to sleep one minute after my screensaver kicks in. Interrupting my screensaver has no delay at all. Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 8:46

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