I am upgrading from mojave to big sur and need to know how to keep my mac awake during this time. the terminal command caffeinate did not work, after some time the screen display went blank as usual. Is there a way to prevent the mac from going to sleep? Also, If i went to System Preferences > Energy Saver > Battery and put "Turn Display Off After:" to never, will the update be able to override that when it needs to restart the computer after the update file has installed? Thank you in advance

  • I don't quite understand what you want to achieve. Do you want to install the update without a restart? – X_841 Jan 23 at 9:54
  • Letting the screen go dim won’t affect things. Also, the download is incremental and accumulative, so it’s not clear what you’re struggling with - wrong syntax or terminal issues or just you’re worried about interruption? – bmike Jan 23 at 13:33

The easy way at the command line is to call software update.

softwareupdate -a -i -r

The command prevents sleep, checks for all updates and then installs them. If the install requires a reboot, that happens immediately as well once the install is done.


There is a free app called Caffeine which prevents sleep on the mac, google search for it.

  • How does it improve on caffineate which either the app you mention calls or it uses that same API. – mmmmmm Feb 22 at 14:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .