This is not a duplicate of this question as it does not work: Is there any way to set a MacBook Pro to not sleep when you close the lid?

I have a Macbook Pro 2011. I want to be able to close the lid without the Macbook Pro going into sleep mode. It seems InsomniaX is not doing anything. I've seen people with MacBook Air having the same problem.

Does anyone have an alternative suggestion for that?

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I close the lid but I have a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter plugged in that displays something on an external monitor. I want to close the lid and still be able to view to video that is playing on this external monitor.

  • I cannot verify this, but I think that you should be able to do what you want to do out-of-the-box. You just have to wake your closed Macbook using an external keyboard or mouse.
    – gentmatt
    Mar 23, 2012 at 15:21
  • I want to avoid this solution gentmatt as it adds complexity and requires new material.
    – Maxime
    Mar 23, 2012 at 15:43
  • Ok, have you tried InsomniaX 2?
    – gentmatt
    Mar 23, 2012 at 15:44
  • I may had downloaded/installed the wrong version. It works perfectly with version 2. Thanks
    – Maxime
    Mar 24, 2012 at 16:25

5 Answers 5


If you're running OS X Lion, you need you use...

InsomniaX 2

The other post only refers to InsomniaX 1 - which does not work in Lion.


The laptop will automatically go to the default sleep mode when closed unless it is plugged into power. Once plugged in, you will be able to run it to the monitor, wireless mouse, etc.


In my experience with my early 2011 MacBook Pro, it has to be plugged in to power (charging) for it to send anything through the thunderbolt port, even with external mouse/keyboard. Caffeine seems to work for me for keeping my MacBook Pro awake when plugged in to power and external monitor.


You don't need to install software to prevent sleep. Simply open a terminal and enter

pmset noidle

If that is tedious to remember you can create an alias to it by appending your ~/.bash_profile with

alias nosleep='pmset noidle'

you can then prevent sleep with nosleep

To exit out of the no sleep mode hit control c in the terminal and stuff goes back to normal.


Another choice, if InsomniaX does not meet your needs, is NoSleep. I've used it for several years without issue, and it provides for separate settings for powered vs. battery.

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