Fix MacBook Pro Sleeps When Lid Is Closed With External Monitor

While the MacBook Pro is a capable machine for getting things done on the fly, it feels incredibly small when used at a desk. I generally connect an external monitor to use as a second display, but the MacBook Pro sleeps as soon as the lid is closed. Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution to keep the MacBook Pro from napping when the lid is closed and an external monitor is plugged in. Let’s look at how.

Have a look at How to Fix MacBook Pro Horizontal Lines on Screen Issue

Why Does MacBook Pro Sleep When Lid Is Closed

Unlike Windows, there is no way to adjust how the machine reacts when the lid is closed on the MacBook. So, regardless of what you’re doing, when you close the integrated display, your MacBook goes into Sleep mode. It can also happen if you have an external display connected. We discovered two solutions to the problem.

MacBook Pro with external monitor working with Amphetamine

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1. Use the Closed-Clamshell Mode

Apple does allow you to use a MacBook Pro with an external monitor, and it works even if the built-in display is closed. The most important thing to remember is that Clamshell mode will not activate until the power cable is plugged in. Instead, it would go to sleep. Here’s how to use the MacBook Pro in Clamshell mode properly.

You’ll require:

  • An external monitor
  • A wireless or USB keyboard
  • A wireless or USB mouse
  • Charging Cable for MacBook

1: Connect your MacBook’s keyboard and mouse first. A USB or wireless keyboard and mouse can be used to interact with the MacBook Pro.

2: Turn on your external display and attach it to the MacBook via HDMI cable once it’s plugged in. Use an HDMI to USB C converter if your MacBook Pro model lacks an HDMI connector. The external monitor should be detected automatically by the MacBook.

Arrangement can be changed under Settings > Displays > Arrangement. To utilize the MacBook in Clamshell mode, check the box that says Mirror Displays.

MacBook external display arrangement

3: To begin charging the MacBook, turn on the switch. With an external display connected, you can close the lid and the MacBook should not go to sleep.

If the external display goes dark after you close the lid, simply press any key on the keyboard to bring it back to life.

2. Use Amphetamine

Even though Apple’s built-in Clamshell mode is quite useful, it can degrade the battery life of the Macbook if the charger is left connected in for long periods of time. It’s a double whammy because you can’t use MacBook in Clamshell mode when plugged into the charger. Thankfully, Amphetamine is a fantastic Mac utility tool that allows you to keep your MacBook on even when the lid is closed and an external display is connected.

1: First, go to the Mac App Store and download Amphetamine by clicking this link.

Amphetamine app to fix the MacBook Pro sleeps issue when lid Is closed

2: Start Amphetamine and select the pill-shaped symbol from the Menu bar. A session can be started at any moment, on the app, or indefinitely.

Amphetamine session template in macOS

3: To return to the menu, click the Amphetamine icon in the Menu bar after starting a session. Remove the check mark next to ‘Allow system sleep while display lid is closed.’ That’s all; your MacBook will not go to sleep even if the lid is closed, and it won’t need to be plugged into the power source.

Amphetamine close lid setting

If closing the lid doesn’t work, you can download and install an associated script from Amphetamine. This script will operate as a fail-safe, allowing you to utilize the MacBook even after the lid has been closed.

Amphetamine Enhancer is available on GitHub (get DMG for macOS). Drag Amphetamine Enhancer to the Applications folder by double-clicking the DMG file.

Install Closed Display Mode Fail-safe and run Amphetamine Enhancer from Spotlight Search. This will start a script that will prevent your MacBook from going to sleep after you close the lid. The benefit of this script is that it only functions when an Amphetamine session is started.

Install amphetamine enhancer script to fix the MacBook Pro sleeps issue when lid Is closed

Read also: 15 Best Utility Apps for Mac You Didn’t Know You Needed

Final Verdict: MacBook Pro Sleeps When Lid Closed

We were able to get our MacBook Pro to sleep when the lid was closed and an external monitor was connected. When you want to use the MacBook in clamshell mode with an external monitor and keyboard, the first method is ideal. However, because your battery is continually plugged into the power socket, it may have an impact on battery life in the long term contrast, Amphetamine allows you to keep your MacBook awake by simply installing a utility script What do you think? How do you use your MacBook Pro? Let me know on Twitter.

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