How to Turn Off Your MacBook's Screen: 3 Methods

Xiaobai Software  2022-10-05 12: 38  read 957 views

While closing the lid of your MacBook or closing it might be a more straightforward way to put it to sleep or end a session, you can be more productive at idle by letting your laptop run in the background and turn off the display.


Here, we'll teach you how to turn off your MacBook's display without putting the system to sleep, but before that, let's discuss why you might want to.

Why do I need to turn off my MacBook's screen?


The first and most important reason you might need to turn off your MacBook screen is for privacy.Shortly after leaving the shared table to go to the toilet?Turn off the screen and let the process run in the background so no one can peek at your sensitive information.

While privacy highlights all the other reasons, the second most important reason is to save your battery life.Dimming the screen is certainly one of the many ways to improve your MacBook's battery life, so just imagine how much money you can save by turning the screen off when you're not using it.

Also, you may want to turn the screen off when downloading or updating something that might take a while.Want a quick nap?In the cafe outside, don't see a charging socket?Well, if you don't need it, just turn your screen off.

We also know what it's like to run processes like scripts or music in the background while doing other things away from the computer.This is especially useful for some professions such as DJs and programmers.

Maybe you have a browser extension that actively scans a pair of shoes in a Nike store and plays a sound when it finds a keyword.If your computer is turned off or asleep, this option will no longer be available to you.

However, if you don't mind turning on the screen but still want to prevent your MacBook from going to sleep, you can read our guide on preventing your Mac from going to sleep.

1. Use the keyboard buttons to turn off the MacBook's screen

The easiest way to turn off the MacBook screen with the keyboard is to simply lower the brightness of the MacBook keyboard until the screen goes off.You can recognize the brightness button in the upper left corner by the sun icon.The button that lowers the screen brightness has a shorter light, while the button that increases the screen brightness has a longer light.


Turning off the display in this way will still cause the computer to go to sleep unless you turn on the "Prevent Mac from automatically sleeping when the display is off" switch in System Preferences > Battery > Power Adapter.The power adapter portion of the battery controls how the MacBook behaves when plugged in.


When running on battery power, you should push the "After Display Off" slider as far as possible.If you forget to do this, your computer will still go to sleep after a while, and your processes may stop.You can do this by opening System Preferences > Battery, selecting Battery from the left pane, and pushing the slider as much as possible.The settings here control how your MacBook behaves when unplugged.


If you push the slider to "Never," don't forget to put it back to the default state, as leaving the display on will reduce the duration of your MacBook when it's unplugged.

This method will still leave your keyboard backlight on, draining more battery.However, you can set the backlight to turn off after a period of time by customizing your Mac's keyboard settings.

2. Turn off the MacBook's screen with the lock screen


The lock screen is where you log into your Mac, but if you want to quickly turn off the display, locking your Mac is another method to follow.You can lock your MacBook by pressing the power key or using the keyboard shortcut (Control + Command + Q), and once locked, you can simply tap "Cancel" on the screen or press the Escape key to turn off the display.

Using this method has more advantages than simply lowering the brightness, as it automatically turns off your keyboard lights and provides better privacy.This method forces you to lock your computer, with no way to get in except using your passcode or Touch ID.

3. Turn off the MacBook's screen with hot corners

You may be familiar with hot corners in macOS due to the annoying default Quick Notes feature that pops up when you move your mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen.However, hot corners can be more beneficial than you might think because they are customizable.

To put your MacBook to sleep with this method, you should set the hot corner by going to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver and clicking on the hot corner in the lower right corner.

Now, you will get a popup showing the active screen corner.Here you can specify what happens when you move the mouse to one of the four corners of the screen.Click on whichever one you like and select "Put the display to sleep" from the drop-down menu.


Turning off the monitor in this way works similarly to the previous method of clicking Cancel or pressing Escape on the keyboard.However, it won't lock your screen unless you press the power button.

More Ways to Turn Off Your MacBook Screen

Putting your computer to sleep is not the same as turning off the display.For example, if you click the Apple menu and choose Sleep, the screen will go black and your MacBook will go to sleep; your process will pause until you wake the computer.

You can also turn off the display and use Siri to put your computer to sleep.Say: "Hey Siri, put my computer to sleep." to turn off the screen and pause your process.When we tested Siri with "put my monitor to sleep", it seemed to have the same effect as putting the computer to sleep because the music we played was paused.

Armed with this information, you can now enjoy your MacBook with more power efficiency and privacy, knowing which commands can put your computer to sleep, lock your screen, or just turn off your display.

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