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To shut down or not to shut down?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 6, 2009
The new Mac mini is my daily computer. Does everyone shut it down at night or just let it go into rest mode? If you aren't going to be using it until the following night, would you shut it down? Curious what everyone does


macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
I rarely shut my Mac off - maybe once or twice a year.
Don't misinterpret that, I do shut off two or three times a month, but only when I feel like doing that, maybe after a system update just to boot up from completely off. Doesn't stay powered off, however. I boot right back, and then to normal sleep.
But, no, in normal day-to-day operation, when I am done using it, I go to sleep. I don't let it go to sleep automatically, and turn off that setting. I always choose to manually sleep.
The only reason that I would choose to shutdown on a routine basis, would be if the local power was unreliable.


macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
I set up a Hot Corner to turn off the display of my iMac, and "Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off" is unchecked. I simply move the cursor into the corner when done using it.

So to answer the question, no, I rarely shut it down.


Nov 12, 2018
the mac mini 2012 gets shut off every night and wakes my sorry ass up at 7AM every morning, unless kitty cat chirps on the floor or plays with things to get me up. these things are still just electronics, why keep something on while not operating?


Nov 12, 2018
Because for me I have 6 desktops with code editors, spreadsheets, documents, browsers, email, etc all sitting there for me to walk up and continue where I left off when I wake the computer. Matter of work style I suppose.
wowers, that sounds like a taylor swifter song about her recent break up with a techie guy at IBM "You have 6 desktops with code editors, spreadsheets, documents, browsers, email, but aint no time fer lil ol meeeeeeeeeeeee!"


macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2015
I use sleep generally, and have been enjoying the unlocking using my watch, which doesn't work if I shut down.

The power differences between sleep and power off may not be very much, unless you also manually shut off the power strip or use a smart strip. I hooked up my kill a watt last night, and it used 1 to 2 watts sleeping, and for 8 hours it used .07 KWhs on sleep. That would project to about 77 KWhs if it slept for a year. Seeing this thread, I powered off the mini, and it stills draws 1 watt off, so that is still going to add up to some vampire power. Booting from powered off for that first minute uses 25-40 watts, but that isn't going to add up to much KWhs (but waking from sleep is more power efficient).


macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2015
So do I.

But I just let my computers go to sleep.

Still consume power for nothing, try to multiply that amount for the two billion computers in the world, and since new SSD are so fast I don't see why leave it on.
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macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
I always shut down at night, restart in the morning.
If I'm going to be away from the Mac for more than a few hours during the day, I may shut it down then as well. If not, I reach forward and turn off the display.

In addition, my 2012 Mini is connected to a power strip (as are my other peripherals).
After I shut down, I reach down and flip the power strip to OFF.

This has worked well for me since the Macintosh SE days... ;)


macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
I leave it on 24/7. It doesn't go to sleep. I have it running certain programs at all times. Plex server, sonarr, transmission, encodes if I have any to do.
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macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2015
There is obviously going to be a cross over point at which sleeping and waking from sleep uses less power than booting up. My guess is that for normal use, booting will still be less. But this would probably need to be tested, so booting up 10-20 times over a period of say 10 hours or something like that, and compared to waking for the same period.

But unless I am missing something obvious with the basic math, I measured about .14 watts per minute of sleeping (I didn't measure watts per minute off, which is also going to be a positive number), if it roughly takes 20 watts to boot the computer in roughly a minute*, than each time you boot your computer that is equivalent to 137 minutes of sleep. this is all really rough and I could be making a major math or assumption error. But it would be equal to something.

*my kill a watt measures in KWhs, so isn't sensitive enough to measure the watts used in a minute, so that would need a much better device, or I would need to boot again and again enough times to be measurable.

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
Always shut down at end of day. Sleep becomes more & more unreliable the longer you keep it on. I've never had a Mac (and I've had over 10) that ran very well when always left on compared to the ones I rebooted once a day.

It only takes 30 seconds to boot up. Why the hell not shut down? Keeping it on idling accomplishes nothing good and wastes energy and accelerates component wear. Turn that sucker OFF
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Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
New Jersey Pine Barrens
My 2012 quad Mini is dedicated to video/audio work, so I shut it down when not in use (which can sometimes be a number of days). Aside from that, I figure every hour that it runs brings it one hour closer to the day it will die (which may or not really be true). ;)

My MacBook Air is my general purpose computer, and I just close the lid when not in use to put it to sleep.

My 2014 base mini is an iTunes server that runs 24/7.

I have a desktop Windows PC that is used for specialized software not available on the Mac. I always shut it down when not in use, which can be weeks at a time. Eventually I start getting alert e-mails from BackBlaze complaining that it hasn't been backed up. So then I start it up, click the button for BackBlaze to do a backup and it informs me that everything is already backed up. :D


macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2007
Mine also works as an itunes and TV server, so I only shut it off if we have lightning storms or power outages.
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Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
New Zealand
I put mine to sleep at night.

I'd never really considered CO2 emissions; naturally the computer itself doesn't produce CO2 and I was under the impression that the hydroelectric power used here was "clean". A quick Web search has turned up claims that rotting plants can release CO2 and methane when lake levels rise, but I wonder how relevant it is in the grand scheme of things (especially when a number of our dams are in forests where the other trees will "eat" at least some of that CO2).


macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2012
For Mac Mini,

I shut down the computer when I'm not using it
If I'm away from the computer for like 10-15 mins then this will go standby mode.

For MacBook Pro,

The main power is connected to the mac while I'm using it.
If I need to go somewhere for a moment - I just pull the power out of the laptop, flip the laptop upside down to release the heat, auto standby mode.
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macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
The new Mac mini is my daily computer. Does everyone shut it down at night or just let it go into rest mode? If you aren't going to be using it until the following night, would you shut it down? Curious what everyone does
I literally have some of MY Mac minis that have not been shut down since 2010/2011.

And by some I mean approximately 35 minis.

And if UPS is accurate I will be adding another one to the family tomorrow, the first space grey, adding a little diversity to the fam.
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