I have a MacBook Air (11-inch, Late 2010).

Ever since I purchased it, I have noticed that it has quite a delay waking from sleep. It takes sometimes up to 5-10 seconds to fully wake up and allow me to do anything.

What is causing this, and is there any way to prevent it?

  • I have sometimes the same problem but I am talking about a "computer freeze" of 3-4 seconds. 20+ seconds is really long. Were you able to establish a pattern ? Like: when you close the lid for 1 hour (could be hibernation) or when you have many programs opened. The more memory you use, the longer it may take.
    – Maxime
    Mar 25, 2012 at 15:57
  • It feels like forever, but you are right. It's more like 5-10. Will update. And yes, just frozen. Only pattern is if it hasn't been asleep for more than a few moments, and not used much before sleeping
    – jmlumpkin
    Mar 25, 2012 at 15:59
  • Try updating to Mavericks. It solved that kind of problems on my Mac Book Air. Oct 23, 2013 at 19:14

4 Answers 4


Airs do go into standby mode more readily than other macs.

Assuming its not just the extra time to exit standby mode (and isn't really sleeping anymore), have you checked the startup disk preference as the article above recommends?

You may have to look in the console log for sleep / standby messages in case your mac is entering standby / hibernate earlier than the expected one hour. The pmset command can show you the details of your Air's power management settings. Here's what a Mid 2011 Air looks like with mostly default settings:

mac:~ me$ pmset -g
Active Profiles:
Battery Power       -1
AC Power        -1*
Currently in use:
 standbydelay   4200
 standby    1
 womp       1
 halfdim    1
 panicrestart   157680000
 hibernatefile  /var/vm/sleepimage
 networkoversleep   0
 disksleep  10
 sleep      10
 hibernatemode  3
 ttyskeepawake  1
 displaysleep   10
 acwake     0
 lidwake    1

You can also use pmset to change either the number of seconds before standby kicks in, which is standbydelay; or turn standby off completely by setting standby to 0. Use the command man pmset for details.


I'm starting to think this might have to do with WiFi. I've done all the SMC reset stuff. But a second problem was that the MBA 11" was also not automatically connecting to known WiFi networks upon wakeup. It seems if you address that problem the wakeup gets quicker (yet not as immediate as one may still wish). What you do to solve the WiFi problem is to make a new Location in your Network settings.

  • I can confirm that on my Macbook Air late 2011, when i disable Wifi and connect my Thunderbolt Ethernet, the "slow-wake-up-problem" no longer occurs...
    – Motsel
    Oct 30, 2012 at 11:54

One way to start to figure it out is to create a new user (System Preferences/users and groups), log out of your user account and into the new user account, then restart the computer.

Now close the lid, wait a bit, and open the lid. Did it wake up faster? If so, there's something in your user account that's running causing it. The next step would be to log back into your user account and go back to system preferences/users and groups and see if you have things that are running in the background.

  • This has happened since I first started the machine, and I have tried this before. I also have heard from various others the same problem.
    – jmlumpkin
    Mar 25, 2012 at 15:21
  • Did you migrate things onto your computer from an older computer or when you "first started the machine" was it a new (clean) user?
    – Richard
    Mar 25, 2012 at 16:20
  • brand new, clean user.
    – jmlumpkin
    Mar 25, 2012 at 16:21

Something like this happens if it did a hibernation (saved the memory on disk). This happens when it runs out of battery so if this always happens I expect you have problems with the battery.

  • No problems with battery. Happens while even on the charger sometimes.
    – jmlumpkin
    Mar 25, 2012 at 15:21

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