MacBook mid 2012, no retina, OS X 10.10

When I close my MacBook it should go into sleeping Mode (I dont know if it does, it seems like there are several "sleeping modes") When I open it again some weird things happen.

  1. Sometimes it takes ages for it to start again. When I watched a video, closed it while the video was still running (or music on iTunes) and I open the Computer after a while again, it takes ages till I can type in my password in the prompt. Instead, the video/music starts, it fetches emails, updates my calender etc. Sometimes the screen turns even black again that I have to press the power button. Then I can type in my password. So in short, it starts up everything else (sometimes it takes up to two minutes) before I can type my password.

  2. I have FileVault activeted. When I shut the computer and come back after two hours, sometimes the computer seems to be in "deep sleeping mode". So I hear the harddrive starting up, I have to type in my password for the first time to deactivate FileVault (why is that the same password than my normal password?), and then I can type in my normal password. Sometimes, however, it seems like the sleeping mode is not that "deep". I open the computer after a night and can type in my password straight away and the desktop appears. There is no need for the FileVault password and it does not take ages as described in (1).

How comes its that inconsistent?!

  • What MacBook do you have exactly? Late or mid 2012? retina or non-retina?
    – n1000
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 20:25
  • @n1000 mid. that was weird what i wrote there.
    – four-eyes
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


You are experiencing more or less the same as me. However I can't change my settings right now.

Normally your mac will simply sleep, i.e. turn everything into a low power mode and supply the RAM with electricity so it does not get deleted and you can quickly restart working. Then after one hour or so autopoweroff will kick in to save more energy (in order to comply with EU regulations). This is normally set by the autopoweroffdelay. As far as I know this is more or less a suspend-to-disk mode. That means the contents of your memory (RAM) is written to your disk and the RAM is taken offline. So when you next start your Mac, it will first have to load the RAM back from the disk which can take 10 to 60 seconds depending on your drive's speed and RAM size and usage.

To make things more complicated there is also a standby mode.

Now the implementation with FileVault2 is IMHO a bit unfortunate. What happens is that your Mac will first need your password to decrypt your disk. Only then it can start the RAM restoration procedure. This is particularly annoying if the acwake feature is on. In this case the Mac will power on, if you remove the power cord. When I first bought my Mac, it happened to me a couple of times, that I had to leave in a rush, removed the power cord, put the Mac into my bag and when I opened it the battery was half drained. The problem is that it will not sleep again once it is waiting for your FileVault2 password.

Therefore I disabled acwake with the following command: sudo pmset acwake 0.

In order to secure your FileVault2 further, you can use the command sudo pmset -a destroyfvkeyonstandby 1 hibernatemode 25. With this setting the FileVault key will be destroyed once the Mac goes into standby. That means that only suspend-to-disk is used. You may also want to reduce the standbydelay.

You can list your timers and options by typing pmset -g into the terminal. You will find more info by typing man pmset.

  • You are writing that it goes into autopoweroff after one hour or so. Sometimes it is not in autopoweroff after a whole night, sometimes it is in autopoweroff after two hours. However, that does not explain why it is starting the music which was playing before, or videos, fetch emails etc. before(!) I can type in my password in the prompt. That acwake happens to me too. When I remove the power cord, I hear the harddrive doing stuff. To add another: What use is FileVault when it only encrypts my files after an hour?! It should do that every time I close the macBook?!
    – four-eyes
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 11:09
  • @Stophface I extended my answer. If a USB disk is connected, autopoweroff is ignored. Maybe this happens for you? Unfortunately I cannot tell you why your MBP starts playback when waking up.
    – n1000
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 11:51

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