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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.


Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I heard you say this on MacBreak, and immediately changed this setting. Much better now and it's virtual instant on now.
  • Now I needs tips on how to speed up the "wife says yes" setting on buying one of these.
  • Answer: buy Samsung Series 9. :-)
  • Please tell me that you posted this as a joke.
  • Cheap junk like everything Samsung makes.
  • 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.
  • lol perfect reply to a useless comment!
  • 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
  • The feature being discussed isn't Power Nap.
  • Very Interesting, The MacBook Pro can Stanby for 30 Days! Very Great News!
  • Good tip. Too bad work god me the MBP without retina display or SSD. Maybe the next upgrade...
  • Will this work on a late 2011 iMac?
  • I'm planning on purchasing a new retina mac this week, thanks for the tip
  • Wow, Thanks so much!
  • Does this have any effect on battery life? My 13" rMBP seems to be pretty snappy on wake.
  • I don't have a rMBP but I was thinking... shouldn't this affect MBAs too?
  • 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.
  • This is definitely some useful information. I will have to share this with fellow Mac users. Thanks!
  • 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
  • Thanks for the tip! I never knew about that setting.
  • 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. Cheers.
  • Wow. Great tip. I'm going to try this out tomorrow.
  • Seems like a useful feature for all laptops. I close the lid all the time and forget about it for days... MB2.0
  • 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
  • thank you for sharing this mine was sooo slow on start up thanks!
  • Thanks for the tip! It'll come in handy when I buy the rMBP (hopefully pretty soon). :)
  • 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.
  • Not slow performance but a delay in waking from sleep.
  • This worked great on my late-2011 17" MBP with a Crucial 512 Gb SSD. I shortened the time to 43200.
  • This has an impact on all MBP?
  • Good to know. My retina users were complaining about this just a few weeks ago and I had nothing for them.
  • 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.