You will want to use your MacBook with the lid closed for a number of different reasons. You may want to plug your MacBook into an external monitor and move it out of the way to free up your desk space (although you could always use both screens). Alternatively, you will want to download something or play music from your Mac without having to hold the lid open – you may find that the download will stop as soon as you close the lid.
Move to this section if you want to stop your Mac from sleeping when you close the lid.
If you use your Mac with the lid closed, one related issue you may find is that when it comes to turning your Mac on, it would appear that you have to open the lid to press the power switch… Fortunately, there is a solution that you might find useful for that situation. Without opening the lid here, learn about how to turn on your Mac.
How to use a MacBook that has a closed lid
The first scenario we’ll begin by addressing: using your MacBook with an external screen while holding the lid closed. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to set up. Here’s what it takes you to do:
- Link an external keyboard (can be wireless).
- Link an external mouse with a mouse (can be wireless).
- Plug in an external display.
- Make sure the Bluetooth is on and that the peripherals are paired with the Mac if you’re using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
- Close the computer’s lid after your Mac notebook’s Desktop appears on the external monitor.
For a moment, your external monitor can flash off, but it will display your desktop afterward (you may need to wake your Mac by pressing a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse).
You can find that your MacBook needs to be plugged in to appear on the external monitor through the power adaptor for the device, but ours hasn’t. You can learn more about your Mac’s use of a second monitor here.
How to turn the MacBook on with a closed lid
Without opening the lid, it’s easy to wake your MacBook from sleep – only click or shift the mouse or tap on the keyboard. But what if you want to start the Mac without opening the lid to show the power button? Can it be finished? It’s possible! (Kind of)
- Preferences for Open Framework.
- Click Saver Energy.
- Click Plan. Come on.
Now press Start-Up or Wake next to it and pick the days and times that you want your Mac to start up. Remember that the Mac only switches on when the power is plugged in, so you might just leave the Mac unplugged, and then simply plug it in when you want it to start.
How to stop a MacBook from falling asleep with a closed lid
Suppose that when you close the lid, you don’t want your MacBook to sleep – maybe it’s busy downloading something and you don’t want it to stop, so you need to take it somewhere, or maybe you’ve left it downloading an update overnight or synchronizing your Time Machine backup and you’d prefer not to see the backlit keyboard. Another example, without having to keep the lid open, you would want to play music from the MacBook – something that would probably appeal to a few DJs.
The issue is that when you close the lid, your Mac will go to sleep if it’s not plugged in and linked to an external monitor. In the machine preferences, you could never go to sleep, but it seems that closing the lid would cause the Mac to sleep regardless.
Fortunately, with the lid closed, there are several third party programs that you can use to avoid sleep:
This little feature, available on the Mac App Store here for 99p, can prevent your Mac from going to sleep.