Hibernation Settings for SSD on Mac OS X

September 01, 2013

In order to provide as much as 30-days of stand-by time on Retina MacBook computers that are equipped with Solid-State Drives (SSD) the computer is configured to enter deep hibernation after just one hour stand-by time by default. Upon waking the computer after an hour or more has passed there will be a 3 to 5 second delay as the data that was cached to the SSD is recovered so that the computer's state can be restored.

I personally found this delay to be annoying and so I changed the stand-by delay to be longer. Instead of the default 4200 seconds, or seventy minutes, I have mine set to 86,400 seconds or 1,440 minutes. Which is 24 hours.

Open Terminal.app and issue the following command to see the current settings.

$ pmset -g

Here is the output on my computer prior to changing the standbydelay.

Active Profiles:
Battery Power          1*
AC Power          2
Currently in use:
 standbydelay         4200
 standby              1
 halfdim              1
 sms                  1
 hibernatefile        /var/vm/sleepimage
 darkwakes            0
 disksleep            10
 sleep                10
 autopoweroffdelay    14400
 hibernatemode        3
 autopoweroff         1
 ttyskeepawake        1
 displaysleep         2
 acwake               0
 lidwake              1

By issuing this command,

$ sudo pmset -a standbydelay 86400

I changed the stand-by delay to be a full 24 hours.

It is also possible to change the hibernationmode setting, by default 3 to 0 which would eliminate hibernation entirely. I choose to simply delay hibernation rather than eliminate it.

This thread on apple.stackexchange.com has more details.

Since making the change my 13" Retina MacBook Pro awakens immediately on most occasions, as I tend to use it every day.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.