How to use Macbook Lid Closed on Battery When Connected to External Display

Last Updated on August 24, 2022

With this guide learn how to use Macbook Lid Closed on Battery When Connected to External Display

Apple will not let you work with a close lid of your Macbook unless you have a power adapter connected to your MacBook. So, according to Apple, you need to plug in your charger all the time in order to keep your Macbook awake.

But what will be the consequences if you keep connected to your charger all the time? It will eventually destroy your battery health to the point where your battery won’t charge anymore. Then you will be stuck using your laptop as a glorified desktop, with an impossibly throttled CPU to boot.

Here is how you can use MacBook in the clamshell mode without keeping the charger always connected to it.

Related: How to Connect Multiple Monitors Apple MacBook Air M1

Guide to use Macbook in Clamshell Mode

MacBooks handle power in a very unusual way. Fundamentally, when you close the lid of your MacBook, it sleeps. That implies it stops giving power to external displays, drives, and even the ethernet port (assuming it has one).

A user normally anticipates that the laptop should be sufficiently wise to realize that an external display is associated with it. That clearly implies I need to use it as the primary screen. Be that as it may, Apple understands what we need better than we do, and doesn’t permit this particular setup to work.

Since it is now so obvious that the issue is that the MacBook falls asleep on closing the lid regardless of whether we have an external display connected with it, the solution to this problem is straightforward. We want to keep that sleep from occurring.

In any case, you can’t utilize a basic Caffeine-type application to take care of this issue. That is on the grounds that the hall sensor on your MacBook identifies when the top is shut and simply puts it to sleep regardless of everything else.

There are two solutions to this problem either use third-party software or use terminal commands.

Third-Party Software

The application ‘Amphetamine’ is a colossally well-known Mac application that controls sleep states for the Mac based on triggers and whatnot.

While the application initially didn’t have the capacity to take care of our concern, it has since been updated and really can assist us with escaping this problem.

First off, make a beeline for the Mac App Store and download Amphetamine

Send off the application, and you will be welcomed with a screen like this one. Click ‘Next’ and adhere to the directions.

Presently, click on the Amphetamine symbol in the menu bar.

Head over to ‘Quick Preferences‘ and uncheck the crate close to ‘Allow system sleep when the display is closed.

You will see a warning spring up recommending that you install Amphetamine Enhancer. This is discretionary, yet suggested. You can just tap on the button that says ‘Get Amphetamine Enhancer’ to head over to the website and download the partner application.

Install the Amphetamine Enhancer and launch it. Select ‘Closed-Display Mode Fail-Safe’ from the sidebar and snap on ‘Install’.

Again, click on the Amphetamine symbol in the menu bar. make sure that you have unchecked the box close to ‘Allow system sleep when the display is closed.

That is all there is to it, you can now involve your MacBook in the clamshell mode without associating your AC power connector with it.

Using Terminal Commands

If you are not comfortable using a third-party app to get these tasks done, or if you just want to figure things out yourself, there are some commands that can create similar results.

Note: I have not tested these commands because Apple does not recommend changing the hibernate mode setting using these commands and the commands do just that. However, these commands will disable your laptop’s hibernation mode. I am not sure if this will stop sleep on lid-close from working so use them at your own risk.

First, launch the terminal and run the following command to see your default ‘hibernate mode’ setting.

pmset -g | grep hibernatemode
  • Now, run the following commands in the terminal.
sudo pmset -a sleep 0
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo pmset -a disablesleep 1

These commands will disable sleep on your MacBook, and you should be able to use your Mac in the clamshell mode without an AC adapter connected.

If you want to revert the setting you just performed then simply use these commands:

sudo pmset -a sleep 1
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode <original hibernatemode value> (Most probably 3 on Macbook)
sudo pmset -a disablesleep 0