I often use my MacBook Air (running OS X 10.9.5) closed at a docking station, where it's hooked to external monitor, keyboard/trackpad, and power. All good. The only issue is that occasionally the external power will come loose or jostle*, which turns off the external monitor or causes it to flicker. I understand the system is designed to work this way -- no external monitor when closed unless the power is plugged in.

My question is: how to change this default behavior? i.e. keep the external monitor going while closed on battery power?

[*] Why you ask? My loving, atttention-seeking cats.

  • 1
    put a very heavy weight object on to the magsafe cable right next to the plug – Ruskes May 19 '15 at 17:01

You can. All you need is an app such as NoSleep.


  • THANK YOU! Apple's stupid MagSafe 2 + my cats can coexist. Harmony has been restored to my universe. – Ghopper21 May 20 '15 at 1:24
  • does not work for El Capitan, and I think for major versions, error installing pkg file – stackdave Mar 23 '17 at 7:19

In case it helps anyone who isn't comfortable downloading an app for this. I have the exact same need when I forget to bring my AC Adapter to the office, and I've worked around it by simply:

  1. Mirroring the 2 displays (MacBook's & external)
  2. Dimm the MacBook display all the way down to off (press F1 until the display turns off)

I still can't close the lid, but my battery saving needs are met.

  • Came across this thread as I left my charger at home and want to preserve as much power throughout my work day using external monitor. Solid solution. Thanks. – Jangari Nov 24 '16 at 22:03

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