How to speed up Retina MacBook Pro wake from sleep

Last week while Mark Gurman and I were complaining about those little imperfections that mar the otherwise fantastic Retina MacBook Pro experience, Chad Coleman passed along a tip from Erv Walter on how to make the Retina MacBook Pro wake from sleep faster. This is for those times when you lift the lid, see the password entry field, but can't actually enter a password for what feels like 10 seconds or so. I mentioned it on MacBreak Weekly on Tuesday, and so many people found it helpful I figured I'd mention it here as well. From

What is actually happening is that these new MacBook Pro’s (and recent MacBook Air’s) have a new powersaving mode which Apple calls standby. Standby mode kicks in after the laptop has been in normal sleep mode for about an hour. When that happens, the contents of RAM are written to the hard drive and the RAM is powered down to further extend battery life. In theory, the laptop will last up to 30 days in standby mode. The trade off is that, when waking up, it takes a long time to reload 16 GB of RAM from the hard drive (even with SSD).

It's a battery saving feature that, if you're plugged in, feels like a bug. If you're not on the road and you want speed over savings, Walter shows a terminal command that lets you change the standby delay. I've been using it all week and it's been great. I'll be traveling this week, however, so I'll be reverting to default. That's the nice thing about it -- you can set it to what makes the most sense for your current work flow.

For more information, and the terminal command you need to use, hit the link below.


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How to speed up Retina MacBook Pro wake from sleep


I heard you say this on MacBreak, and immediately changed this setting. Much better now and it's virtual instant on now.

a Samsung lol. I got a Mac to stay away from Windows and love doing work a lot more on the Mac than I did on any Windows computer by far!!!!

I agree buy a Samsung series 9 and one will quickly learn that there is nothing wrong with the MBP because there are slower less functional computers out there.

This really helped for my MacBook Pro late 2012 (weird right?). I was surprised because i thought that MacBook's without flash didn't have Power Nap

Same question here about the MBA, but at the same time it's funny how we've come to expect everything to be instant. Each iOS device seems blazingly fast, but if you pick up an older one, you notice the lag.

I remember you saying this on Macbreak. While I do not have a Macbook Pro, I do know people who do and they absolutely love this new speed. Thank you so much.

I'm used to the lift and it's ready kind of thing. I didn't know that you have to wait until everything gets written from the hdd or ssd to ram

I have a non-retina 13" inch bought in July of 2012; and after one of the upgrades in November, i had the same issue. I turned on the scheduler to put my computer to sleep at 4:00AM and wake up at 5:00AM, and no longer have the problem.


Thank You for there tip have a MBP ret and enjoy it now I can set a longer delay to see if I can get it to extend even longer on battery life

I do not have a retina MacBook Pro but believe this should be something that is told to customers when the computer is sold to them. It would alleviate frustration later on in customers who do not understand that and just believe they paid the most money for a fast computer, when they are getting slow performance.

I changed this setting the minute i heard you speak about this solution in macbreak tips.

Never understood why my mbpr was slower to resume than my old hdd mbp...

Much better now! Thank you!

Great tip! Wouldn't it make sense for Apple to automatically set the delay longer when plugged in, and shorter as soon as you unplug? Is it even necessary when you're plugged in?

This change appears to have fixed an annoying bug with the free Sophos antivirus software. The bug is that the software can rarely connect to the update server. After I restart, however, the software can connect and update just fine.
After lengthening the time the MacBookPro takes to go into standby mode Sophos can now contact the update server without any problems. I have no idea what the interaction was between standby mode and connecting to the server, but the problem with Sophos free antivirus for Mac is now gone.