After upgrading to macOS Sierra the sleep keyboard shortcut doesn't work anymore. How do I re-enable it?

[Edit] I was using (cmd+opt+eject) before, apparently it's (ctrl+shift+eject) after the upgrade. Others might have different experiences, but the shortcuts have definitely been reset.

  • The only "shortcut" I know of to put the machine to sleep is to hold the power button for 1.5 seconds. There is a different shortcut for displays. Are you referring to the machine or the displays?
    – Allan
    Sep 23, 2016 at 12:36
  • Can you please try to use the sleep keyboard shortcut on a newly created user (administrator, not a standard user). If it works on the new account it can be related to your settings in your user profile. Let me know if it works.
    – oa-
    Sep 23, 2016 at 13:01
  • Same problem here and above solutions don't work. My laptop is in always clamshell mode. So I do not have access to neither eject nor power button. In mavericks you could define your own keyboard shortcuts and I had F12 connected with sleep. How do you do this in Sierra?
    – guest
    Dec 10, 2016 at 12:23

4 Answers 4


Things definitely have changed:

⌥⌘⏏ (Cmd-Option-Eject) to put your machine to sleep no longer works in Sierra.

Supposedly, ⌃⏏ (Ctrl-Eject) has taken its place, but it doesn't work on my late-2012 iMac.

At least according to the documentation, that is the only change - compare below.

Sadly, you cannot bring the old shortcut back (at all?), because defining keyboard shortcuts in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts doesn't allow you define shortcuts involving ⏏ (Eject), and, in fact, even shortcuts that are permissible do not seem to put the machine to sleep (flickers briefly, but stays awake).

Sleep-related shortcuts as of macOS Sierra:

Source: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201236

macOS Sierra sleep-related shortcuts

Sleep-related shortcuts as of OS X El Capitan:

Source (link effectively dead, redirects to the Sierra page): http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343

up to OS X El Capitan sleep-related shortcuts

  • 1
    didn't know that now it's possible to put display to sleep by keyboard even without eject key which is not present on laptops. that's apparently one of the bigger plus sides of Sierra upgrade ;D May 31, 2017 at 4:43
  • ⌥⌘⏏ (power) works for machine sleep on my 10.12.6 Sierra MBP (Late 2013), along with ⌃⇧⏏ for display sleep. Plain ⌃⏏ opens a shut down dialog.
    – SilverWolf
    Dec 4, 2017 at 21:51
  • Somehow, it still works for me on High Sierra. Jan 26, 2018 at 12:34

To the best of my knowledge there are only three macOS keyboard shortcuts that have any sort of sleep functionality. These are as follows:

  • Power button - Hold for 1.5 seconds while your Mac is awake to display a dialog asking if you want to restart, sleep, or shut down.
  • ControlShiftEject - Puts your display to sleep.
  • ControlShiftPower button - As above, this puts your display to sleep.

It seems to me that the second keyboard shortcut is the one closest to what you're describing - instead of CommandOptionEject it's ControlShiftEject.

Is this what you're after? Or had you in fact been using CommandOptionEject previously?

You can also check out the Mac keyboard shortcuts page for a more detailed description of macOS keyboard shortcuts.


If you're looking for the same dialogue window that holding the power button used to preset, you can access it by using the fn+Power combination. No need to hold anything down. I'm not sure if this is a change in macOS Sierra, but I just found the combination this morning by accident. Hope it helps!


I also had the problem that the sleep shortcut would not work anymore after macOS sierra (Using Control+Shift+Eject). It looks like one have to press the buttons for a longer time to trigger sleep (About 1,5 seconds). On El Capitan sleep was activated immediately.

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