I have the late 2015 (15 inch) MacBook Pro. By default it turns on when laptop lid is open. This is not good for me, sometimes I open the lid on weak battery to make sure it's not turned on, so I wanted to make sure it's off. And then it just wants to boot up, imagine.

(Side note - I don't use sleep function, because it eats up an unoptimally lot of swap and compressed memory (which also cannot be changed since 10.9, see Can I turn off swap and/or memory compression on macOS 10.12, Sierra? ), I use nosleep extension to just lock the screen on lid close when on AC, or on battery for short)

Thankfully there is a leaked (not documented) bash command to change this in terminal:


sudo nvram AutoBoot=%00

But then if the machine is turned off, the power button behaves strangely:

  1. On first press (no matter long or short) the battery status will show with a percentage.
  2. Until this screen and this mode goes off (few seconds), everything you do with the Touch ID power button is ignored.
  3. Then you can press the Touch ID button long to power on, when you release it, Apple logo shows up so the system is booting finally.

So I'm happy the startup tune is off now, but instead you need to morse a startup tune through the power button to power on your MacBook Pro ;)

Is there a tweak to make this work as expected for an old physical power button to turn on properly in the old easy way?

  • Forgive the edit to cut out two of the related questions. Those would work better in Ask Different Chat. My guess is the answer here is going to be “no” but you also aren’t going to be the only person seeking a back door setting to undo all the Touch ID changes.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 10:38

2 Answers 2


This is a side-effect of the implementation. Setting the AutoBoot NVRAM variable doesn't actually prevent the machine from booting.

  • The machine will still boot automatically when the lid is opened, or on the first power button press, but will only boot to a page with a battery icon.
  • Until the machine shuts down again (by itself after a little while, or by the power button again), the power button won't work to turn the machine on.
  • Once the machine is off, you can use the power button again, at which point the machine boots normally.
  • This is really annoying, there is no alternative workaround? Thanks.
    – The Doctor
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 15:30

Why not try:

sudo nvram AutoBoot=0
  • 1
    same results as %00
    – dszakal
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 15:51

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