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When issuing the command pmset -g in macOS (tested on El Capitan through High Sierra) the first two lines come up about the active UPS and AC profile:

Active Profiles:
UPS Power       -1
AC Power        -1*

What does the negative one (-1) refer to and what is the asterisk (*) denoting?

The question "Default settings for pmset -g?" makes references these values, but doesn't explain what they mean.

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This is expected behavior.

  • The -1 denotes that a "custom" profile is being used.

  • The * denotes the profile currently in use.

So, from this we can see that there is a custom profile for both UPS and AC and that it is currently using the AC profile.

macOS Energy Saver Preference Pane Defaults

When using the macOS defaults as seen in Energy Saving Preference pane (above image), pmset -g gives the following:

Active Profiles:
UPS Power       -1
AC Power        2*

Now, the UPS is the only profile with a custom setting and the 2 denotes a predefined (default) setting for AC. Setting it back to a custom setting returns the profile value to -1.

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