Picture this:
It's 2 am, I'm coding, got XCode, a Browser, a Terminal... running and want to call it a day. I know very well that the next thing I'm doing on my MacBook is exactly where I left off, so with the same windows, tabs etc.

My question is:
Is it good practice to close all my applications before I put my MacBook to sleep (not shut down, just sleep)?

I've found an old post where they discussed this, regarding the time it takes to wake up your MacBook and get back to work. But what I want to know is, if leaving applications open drains my battery, or if it has any bad effects on my device over the long term.


  • Put the laptop to sleep, wake it up again when you need it. – Marc Wilson Aug 20 at 15:11
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    The purpose of sleep is for the computer to use less power and resume exactly where you left off when you wake it. Best practice is to use the Mac the best way it works for you. – Steve Chambers Aug 20 at 15:20
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    I make sure I save in relevant apps then close the lid... – Solar Mike Aug 20 at 15:33
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    Think about it this way...if you’re going to go through the trouble of closing everything, why put it to sleep. Turn it off instead. The idea behind sleep is that you can resume right where you left off. – Allan Aug 21 at 2:18
  • @Allan I just wanted to know if it drains my battery faster when I have multiple ram-intensive applications open – kuyaC Aug 21 at 11:01

...what I want to know is, if leaving applications open drains my battery, or if it has any bad effects on my device over the long term.

Yes, it drains your battery, but it uses a fraction of energy than when awake. When your Mac goes to sleep, it suspends all of your applications in their current state in memory meaning that (CPU) processing and disk activity have all been stopped, but the application state is in memory being supported by battery - so yes, your battery will drain.

However, when your Mac goes into hibernation it will write those saved states to a sleep image in which your Mac is all but turned off. If the battery drains completely, the memory states though lost in RAM are preserved in the sleep image.

For more information, see Use sleep and Energy Saver on your Mac

or if it has any bad effects on my device over the long term.

Why would it? Whether your Mac is fully operational and memory is being utilized versus in sleep mode where memory is also being utilized, there’s nothing that the latter condition is going to do to “have bad effects on your device over the long term.” Memory just holds values and when you get down to it, it's simply holding on or off states (the 1s and 0s) representing values.

Whether it’s holding a spreadsheet, an photo, an animation, or the state of your application, it affects the memory no differently. It doesn’t matter if your CPU is doing things with that memory or it’s in a static state, it doesn’t have adverse effects to your computer - it’s doing what it’s designed to do - hold on/off states representing values so long as there’s power. In fact, an argument can be made that computer that’s awake causes more “wear” on one that’s asleep or hibernating.

Bottom line, the sleep/hibernate function has been used on all computers - Windows, macOS, and BSD/Linux alike across many different architectures like X86, ARM, RISC, SPARC and PowerPC - it’s a mature technology that works very well. It’s designed to be a convenience feature that has no detrimental effects to your system.

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Just close the lid. Everything will be there when you come back tomorrow morning.

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  • I close apps and shut down maybe once a month. In general, everything works great. Once in a great while, it starts bogging down and a restart fixes it. But there are weeks between those incidents, so the convenience of keeping everything open is generally worthwhile. – WGroleau Aug 21 at 16:19
  • I've not found that (bogging down) to be a problem, but I have seen the occasional incident on older hardware. So it apparently works most of the time for most machines. It's one of the things that Apple "does well". – Seamus Aug 21 at 18:15

Most of the time I will close many applications when going to sleep or traveling with the laptop. I find that Apple Mail (when using Exchange Email Server) does not connect again all the time. So I quit mail every time when traveling from work to home.
Some other applications I will close as well, anything that is easy to resume or reconnect.

My Macbook has 32GB of RAM and with everything open for work I am pushing that limit of RAM and the CPU does not seem to keep up all the time, so sleeping with everything running does not work as well as I wish.

I do leave Safari and Chrome running while in sleep and they have probably over 100 tabs and multiple Windows open. This seems to work for me. However they need a restart once in a while as well.

I do close down: Apple Mail, Microsoft Office tools, Remote Desktop, TeamViewer, and many others.

Like Steve commented, "Best practice is to use the Mac the best way it works for you. "

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