Determine Why Your Mac Wakes Up From Sleep

Determine Why Your Mac Wakes Up From Sleep Tutorial and Steps

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Have you ever put your Mac to sleep, only to find it awake by itself when you return to the machine? I have run into the mystery of a randomly waking Mac a few times and with a few terminal commands you can help track down what caused your Mac to wake up from sleep. So if you’re wondering why your Mac wakes up from sleep mode, read on to find out how to help determine the cause.

Know that there are many reasons why this can happen, sometimes it’s a hardware event that wakes up your Mac, sometimes it’s software, and sometimes it’s something else. This guide helps to find out the reason why a Mac, iMac, MacBook Air, Pro, etc. wake up from sleep mode. Yes, it is somewhat technical and uses the command line in Mac OS X to scroll through system logs, and you will then have to compare a multi-character ‘wake-reason’ code with a list below showing the actual sleep reason. Let’s start.

How to Find out why a Mac wakes up from sleep

Launch the Terminal, found in / Applications / Utilities / and type the following exactly at the command line, depending on your version of the macOS system software:

For macOS Sierra, Mojave, Catalina and newer, with the new logging system, use the following command:

log show | grep -i “Woke up reason”

For macOS El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks and older, with the traditional syslog command:

syslog | grep -i “Awaken reason”

Hit return and you’ll see a Mac OS X System Logs report that looks something like this:

Sat Jul 10 8:49:33 AM MacBookPro kernel : Wake up reason = OHC1 Sat Jul 10 5:21:57 PM MacBookPro kernel : Wake up reason = PWRBSun Jul 11 ​​08:34:20 MacBookPro kernel : Wake up reason = EHC2 Sun Jul 16 18:25:28 MacBookPro kernel : Awaken reason = OHC1

Now you are going to look at the code next to the text “Wake reason =”, this is what will tell you why the computer is waking up from sleep mode. So what do these wake reason codes mean?

Wake Reason Codes and What They Mean in Mac OS X

We will describe each kernel debugging cause code and what it pertains to, which will take you to the root cause of the machine waking up up.

  • OHC: stands for Open Host Controller, is usually USB or Firewire. If you see OHC1 or OHC2, it is almost certainly an external USB keyboard or mouse that has woken up up the machine.
  • EHC: stands for Enhanced Host Controller, is another USB interface, but can also be wireless devices and bluetooth as they are also on the USB bus of a Mac.
  • USB: A USB device has woken the machine up
  • LID0: this is literally the lid of your MacBook or MacBook Pro, when you open the lid, the machine wakes up up from sleep.
  • PWRB: PWRB stands for Power Button, that’s the physical force button on your Mac
  • RTC: Real Time Clock Alarm, generally comes from wake-on-demand services, such as when you schedule sleep and alarm clock on a Mac through the Energy Saver control panel. It can also be from the startup setting, user applications, backups and other scheduled events.

There may be other codes (such as PCI, GEGE, etc.), but the above are the ones most people will see in the system logs. Once you discover these codes, you can really check what is waking up your Mac up seemingly random from sleep.

Note: You can also check the Wake Reason codes by looking at the console if you are not comfortable with the command line. In my experience, however, the console is slower to find and use than the terminal. This is usually because the standard string search in Console searches all your system and application logs, including those from third parties.

Did you find this useful for tracking down why a Mac woke up from sleep? Do you have any others tips or suggestions to discover similar information? Share it with us in the comments below. And thank you Matt for delivering this great one tip idea!

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Tutorial Summary: Determine Why Your Mac Wakes Up From Sleep

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Determine Why Your Mac Wakes Up From Sleep tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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