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Remote Macs and Power Outages - How to Handle


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2018
Korat, Thailand
At my condo, which I visit monthly, I have a 2010 MBA (High Sierra?) that runs a webcam and performs various other periodic tasks. I don't have an UPS for it, but the internal battery usually lasts long enough to handle power outages. However, this week the condo scheduled an all-day outage in order to do maintenance on the electrical systems. I have the MBA scheduled to "Start up or wake" every morning. (This MBA does not have "Start up automatically after a power failure".) As expected, the MBA's battery went dead during the power outage. I expected that the battery would charge up after power was resumed and that the MBA would start up on schedule. It did not and remains shut off.

What should I have done differently?

At home I have a 2017 iMac running Catalina. It has a UPS with a battery that lasts about an hour after a power outage. When the battery gets low, the UPS sends a shutdown command to the Mac. During a long outage the UPS shuts the Mac down and then turns itself off when the battery dies. When power resumes, the Mac starts up automatically. ("Start up automatically after a power failure" is enabled.)

However, this week, while I was away, there was a power outage. The outage lasted long enough for the UPS to shut down the Mac, but power resumed before the UPS shut itself off. So, power to the Mac was never lost. As a result, it stayed shut down and required manual intervention to start up.

What should I have done differently?
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