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Is it possible to put the display to sleep without putting the whole computer to sleep?

I have an iMac, and sometimes I want to play some music over night, without the bright display. The display will be turned off automatically several minutes later, but I would like a button that turns the display off instantly and keeps the music playing.

How can I do this?


2 Answers 2


Ctrl+Shift+Eject will turn off the displays but leave the computer active.

Control ⌃+Shift ⇧+Power ⌽ for some Macbook

  • 2
    Not sure why, but it does not work for me - instead of just switching off the screen - it puts computer to sleep. So after I move the mouse and the screen is back on - I need to enter my password again. Any idea why this might be happening?
    – YemSalat
    Sep 20, 2016 at 2:01
  • 3
    Is there a command line way? Mar 22, 2018 at 14:38
  • 3
    whats the Eject key ? I am using external keyboard
    – Morse
    Sep 12, 2018 at 19:21
  • 4
    Yep, pmset displaysleepnow command did the trick for me. I didn't have mac keyboard and prefer commands as it is. Source answer here.
    – yuvilio
    Apr 28, 2019 at 1:22
  • 2
    I'm on a 2017 MBP. I don't have an Eject OR a power button 😭
    – Qasim
    Aug 13, 2019 at 1:20

Use ctrl + shift + Eject to turn off display.

You can also set a "hot-corner" to turn off display in a few seconds.

  • "You can also set a "hot-corner" to turn off display in a few seconds." How? Jul 20, 2019 at 20:34
  • Setting a "hot-corner" works through: Apple-Icon -> "System Preferences" -> "Desktop & Screen Saver" -> "Hot Corners...". Note: You can also only activate a "Hot Corner" when pressing a key(ctrl, alt, cmd), by pressing that key when assigning the action from this menu.
    – icyerasor
    Apr 3, 2020 at 21:51

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