I'm trying to follow the steps in this article to make it so the contents of my memory aren't written to disk every time the computer goes to sleep.

I'm having trouble in the "Check the current setup" step. Before changing these settings, I want to make sure I understand it 100% so that I can revert the changes. It says that I should have a setting of 3 if hibernate and sleep is enabled, or 7 if hibernate, sleep and secure virtual memory are all enabled.

I'm on a standard user account, but when I go to System Preferences > Security > General, I see that Use secure virtual memory is enabled.

The problem is that when I run pmset -g | grep hibernatemode, it returns 3 instead of 7.

Any idea why there is this discrepancy?


The article is outdated (it's from 2006). There is no hibernatemode = 7 in the pmset manual. If you dont want your macbook to write ram to disk, use hibernatemode = 0 (by issuing sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0).

When I want my computer to hibernate and power off I use this hibernate script.


I can say that mine also returns 3 even though it's using the secure virtual memory. But to be honest, it doesn't really matter. Set it to 0 if you don't want it to save to the HDD and 3 if you want it to. :)

  • I'm worried that when I set it back, my settings (e.g. FileVault) may have changed by then, so I want to understand how this setting works to make sure that I don't make a mistake when restoring this setting. – Senseful Jan 29 '11 at 11:28

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