I need to keep my MacBook Air awake when running certain applications. But when I put the display to sleep, often the whole system suspends after a few minutes.

Specifically I run Air Video Server on the Mac to stream/decode videos to my iPad. But the Mac keeps sleeping and thus stopping streaming videos.

I tried to use Caffeine to keep the Mac awake, but it looks like it has lost its magic in Mountain Lion – it couldn't keep the Mac awake to continue running services after I put the display to sleep.

Wimoweh (another sleep-preventing app) couldn't detect whether Air Video server is running, so it's probably won't be useful in this situation.

So is there any other app that can keep a Mac running services with the display asleep? I'm not keen to install OS X Server on this laptop since it's more of a once-in-a-while thing and most of the time I need the Air to really sleep if it's unused.


2 Answers 2


I use caffeine to avoid the system to sleep, you can configure the time is "awake" as well: http://lightheadsw.com/caffeine/

Edit to update as caffeine hasn't been updated for a long time, Amphetamine seems to work OK https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amphetamine/id937984704?mt=12

  • Not working in Sierra.
    – Idan Adar
    Nov 4, 2016 at 21:30
  • Added an alternative, as the answer is from 2013! :o
    – pcambra
    Nov 6, 2016 at 13:06

You can use KeepingYouAwake. It is a free and lightweight menu bar utility for macOS (Version 10.10 and newer) that can prevent your Mac from entering sleep mode for a predefined duration or as long as it is activated.

It can be easily installed using Homebrew cask by running:

brew cask install keepingyouawake

It is an alternative to widely popular tool Caffeine from Lighthead Software. Caffeine hasn't been updated in a while. KeepingYouAwake's icons are Retina-compatible and do look nice in the dark themed menu bar.

Once you have activated KeepingYouAwake, you can simply lock the screen (by pressing Control + Command + q), turn down the screen brightness and remain assured that the system won't go to sleep!

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