On older Mac laptops, placing a magnet near the steep sensors sleeps the Mac. However, on newer Macs, putting magnets on the sleep sensors won't sleep Mac, such as closing the lid does.

How do sleep sensors work then? I did many tests with different laptops (12", 13" 2016/2017) etc.. I know where the sensors are, but they won't sleep the Mac, not even putting a magnet on each sensor.

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1 Answer 1


Sleep sensors are typically Hall Effect sensors. You can consult this PDF that Apple produces for case manufacturers which illustrates where the sensors are located per device. The PDF is titled: Accessory Design Guidelines for Apple Devices.

Make sure you're using the correct polarity when orienting the magnet(s) over the sensors, this is likely why they're not working as you're expecting.


  • That documents is for iOS devices and watches. Apr 16, 2019 at 20:48
  • @Antonio23249 - I'd assume that the devices would all use the same underlying tech, but I'll look for additional docs around a Macbook. Can you include what models you're interested in focusing on? Just the ones you mentioned or anything newer than those?
    – slm
    Apr 16, 2019 at 21:01
  • 1
    I'm interested in the 2016/17/18 laptops. I know where the sensors are located (except for the 12" macbook). It's just that they don't seem to work like the older MacBooks. Thanks a lot for your answers. Apr 18, 2019 at 19:38
  • @Antonio23249 - sure thing. Since you're a tech have you been able to find a service manual for working on these laptops? I'm looking for that or a BOM which lists a part so we can look up the specs for the actual switch to determine how it works for further insights on this.
    – slm
    Apr 18, 2019 at 20:39

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