I was transferring some files over the network and my macbook pro just fell asleep. I had the "Wake for network traffic" in Preferences>Energy checked. I am using High Sierra. It doesn't sound like Apple not to prevent sleeping while you are conducting an operation. This a bug or a feature?


You can install 3rd part app Caffeine. you can turn it on to prevent your mac from sleeping. Other popular apps are Anti Sleep and Amphetamine. I'm pretty sure all 3 are free. Amphetamine is also available from the App Store. I personally use Caffeine and it works well. It adds a coffee cup icon to menu bar so you can easily turn it on or off.

Caffeine may actually come with newer system upgrades so check your Applications folder.

  • There's also Wimoweh. Not free, but not that expensive either. Wimoweh can make sure that when certain apps are running, computer won't sleep. – Joonas Nov 13 '17 at 0:32
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    @jmh That guys I know about those apps, but none of them do it automatically. A file system copy or transfer does not show up as a separate app as it's part of the finder. It I add the finder, then it will never sleep. So I am looking for something that does it automatically. Right now I have to set a timer on Amphetamine. That is the closest I have gotten. – Frank Barcenas Nov 13 '17 at 3:48
  • @FrankBarcenas, you can add a new column in Activity monitor "Preventing sleep", which will show you if a process is preventing system from sleeping. When you start a file transfer, that should go from "no" to "yes". You can show it by right clicking the table header and adding it from there. If you start a file transfer, does it say "yes" for Finder? — I tried to look for applications that could help with this issue. Like a file transfer app that has auto shutdown after file transfer or anything that would work with Wimoweh, but no... Couldn't find any. – Joonas Nov 13 '17 at 7:59
  • @Joonas The closest I could find was the TRIGGERS in the PREFERENCES of AMPHETAMINE, however it does not detect the file transfer, so I can't add it as a trigger. And "NO" I the file transfer does not trigger the "Prevent Sleep" in the activity monitor. I would just assume that if the computer is supposed to wake on ETHERNET ACCESS, that is would stay awake during transfers. – Frank Barcenas Nov 13 '17 at 13:39
  • @FrankBarcenas Well that wake for network access is for waking up the computer if you try to access the machine in the network. It doesn't mean it will keep it awake (I don't think..). If Finder's Prevent sleep status doesn't change, then there must be some problem there. I'm not sure at this point if that could depend on the energy saving settings or if it's perhaps just some sort of a bug. A though just crossed my mind... What if you install a trial of Path Finder and try to do a file transfer and check if the Prevent sleep status changes for PF in Activity monitor. – Joonas Nov 13 '17 at 14:01

I am not sure how familiar you are with it, but the terminal command caffeinate will keep your computer from sleeping. This lets you add it as part of a script, and doesn't rely on third party applications (Caffeine just runs that command anyway, it's not adding any functionality that didn't already exist).

This way, you can activate it when transferring files, either manually or part of some automated workflow (eg. a bash script or with Alfred workflows, etc.)

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