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Since two days I am using an external SSD as system disk (to work with my system on my iMac or on my new arriving MacBook Pro – on demand – without any synchronization process). Just attach the disk and boot my system.

On my iMac this work pretty good. I have tested my Thunderbold 2 case – wich was faster on boot as the USB 3.0 case. But the Thunderbold case need external power – so thats not perfect.

Now I am using the USB 3.0 case just connected via USB. And this morning I noticed, that my iMac didn't went to sleep – just the dispay turned off. So the system will not go to sleep automatically. After 5 minutes with turned off display I can still see some flashing LED on the SSD case – once a minute or something.

What can I do to get my system automatically to sleep again?

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Update:

Running pmset -g in Terminal, I get the following

Currently in use: 
standby               1 
Sleep On Power Button 1 
womp                  0 
halfdim               1 
hibernatefile         /var/vm/sleepimage 
powernap              0 
autorestart           0 
networkoversleep      0 
disksleep             0 
sleep                 1 (sleep prevented by backupd, backupd, UserEventAgent) 
autopoweroffdelay     28800 
hibernatemode         0 
autopoweroff          1 
ttyskeepawake         1 
displaysleep          1 
standbydelay          10800
  • Could you include in your question a screen capture of System preferences > Energy Saver > Power Adapter so as to get better answers? – dan Jun 20 '17 at 9:07
  • Edited. But german. Sorry for that. – Kevin Lieser Jun 20 '17 at 9:16
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It won't go to sleep because it can't.

There's a process (or processes) preventing your system from going to sleep. pmset -g tells us:

(sleep prevented by backupd, backupd, UserEventAgent)

  • backupd is the Time Machine backup daemon which more than likely is backing up to a USB drive.

  • UserEventAgent is a processes that manages high level events that launchd doesn't manage - this could be any number of things.

To put the machine to sleep you will need to disable Time Machine and resolve whatever process UserEventAgent is attached to (it may be Time Machine itself).

  • And why is it possible to get the iMac sleeping when manually activating the sleep mode (via the Apple logo top left). Is it possible to create a small script that detects "no mouse movement" or "copy actions" for X seconds (like the system itself) and put the iMac via Shell script or something into sleep mode. – Kevin Lieser Jun 20 '17 at 11:06
  • Is it actually being put to sleep or is the display just being put into low power mode? – Allan Jun 20 '17 at 11:39
  • It is in sleep. The LED on mouse and SSD goes off after a few seconds. My server (which is checking for network availablility via bash script) turns off after 5 minutes if iMac not reachable. So yes, it seems to be in sleep mode. – Kevin Lieser Jun 20 '17 at 11:41
  • Currently in use: standby 1 Sleep On Power Button 1 womp 0 halfdim 1 hibernatefile /var/vm/sleepimage powernap 0 autorestart 0 networkoversleep 0 disksleep 0 sleep 1 (sleep prevented by backupd, backupd, UserEventAgent) autopoweroffdelay 28800 hibernatemode 0 autopoweroff 1 ttyskeepawake 1 displaysleep 1 standbydelay 10800 actually is TM backup running. – Kevin Lieser Jun 20 '17 at 11:44
  • Now I disabled automatic TM backup and aborted the acutal backup and everything got to sleep. Hmm. :-) Doing the backup now and will test it again after that. – Kevin Lieser Jun 20 '17 at 12:06
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Maybe you have "Prevent computer from sleeping..." activated in Energy Saver preferences.

  • No. I have unchecked all four checkboxes. And checking "put harddisk to sleep when possible" also do not change anything. – Kevin Lieser Jun 20 '17 at 8:28
  • Do you have a blanck screensaver activated? – Harcker Jun 20 '17 at 8:30
  • I have the default screensaver activated. It appears, then after a few minutes the display turns off but the iMac do not go really to sleep. – Kevin Lieser Jun 20 '17 at 8:31
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There are dozens of reasons a Mac won’t sleep on the Sierra versions of the os. Have a look at the details and diagnostics that pmset command provides:

In many cases it’s software like google notifier that prevent sleep by design or software like google software update that run a process that often will then block sleep since it’s regularly downloading and updating in the background and hanging around until chrome relaunches.

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