What you need to know about your Mac’s sleeping habits 🤭

Since 2005, Apple has provided three basic sleep modes 😴

Sleep: The Mac’s RAM is left powered on while it’s sleeping. The Mac can wake up very quickly because there’s no need to load anything from the hard drive. This is the default sleep mode for desktop Macs.

This mode is also called hibernatemode 0.

Hibernation: In this mode, the contents of RAM are copied to your startup drive before the Mac enters sleep. Once the Mac is sleeping, power is removed from the RAM. When you wake the Mac up, the startup drive must first write the data back to the RAM, so wake time is a bit slower. This is the default sleep mode for portables released before 2005.

This mode is also called hibernatemode 1.

Safe Sleep: The computer copies RAM contents to the startup drive before the Mac enters sleep, but the RAM remains powered while the Mac is sleeping. Wake time is very fast because the RAM still contains the necessary info. Writing the RAM’s contents to the startup drive is a safeguard. Should something happen, such as battery failure, you can still recover your data.

Security Concerns When Sleeping 🛡️

When it’s asleep, your Mac is subject to many of the same vulnerabilities as when it’s awake. Specifically, anyone who has physical access to your Mac can wake the Mac from sleep and gain access.

Is sleep or safe sleep safe? 🙃

Your Mac is as safe when asleep as it is when awake. It can even be slightly safer since network access is usually disabled during sleep.

Safe sleep is much safer than normal sleep modes because all RAM contents are first written to the hard drive. Should power fail during sleep, your Mac will recreate the state it was in when it first entered sleep. You can see this occurring when you first recover from a power failure during a safe sleep session. A progress bar will appear as the contents of RAM are recreated from the hard drive data.

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