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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > How to get your MB(P) to run with the lid closed

How to get your MB(P) to run with the lid closed
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Jan 17, 2008, 12:03 PM
 
Both the MBP and the MB can be used with their lids closed. This "closed-lid mode" is not dangerous and Apple explicitly endorses its use. Your MB(P) might become warm while in closed-lid mode, but this is normal and part of the design.

How to get it to work:
• Connect your MB(P) to an external KB and mouse. The Apple Bluetooth KB and MM will also work.
• Connect your MB(P) to AC power. This is IMPORTANT. Closed-lid mode will only work with AC power!
• Connect a screen to your MB(P). VGA or DVI doesn't matter.
• Close the lid and put your MB(P) to sleep.
• Hit a key on the KB, press the mouse button, or hit a button on your Apple remote
-> You should now be able to use your MB(P) with only the external display. The internal display will remain off (even if you open the lid).


Once the lid is open again, how do you turn the internal display back on?
There are several possibilities:
• Hit the "Detect Displays" button (on F7)
• Select "Detect Displays" from the display menu
• In System Preferences > Displays hit the "Detect Displays" button
• Remove the DVI plug
-> The first three are good if you want to switch to dual display (mirrored or extended) mode. The latter is obviously for when you want to switch from the external back to the internal display.


Can I wake it from sleep directly in closed-lid mode?
Yes. Connect the closed and sleeping MB(P) to AC power and a screen. Then connect a KB and mouse. It will wake up automatically because of the USB connection. The internal display will stay off.


Why is it waking up when it shouldn't?
When you attach or remove the cable from a USB port a Mac will wake from sleep. So if you were in closed-lid mode, you just put your Mac to sleep, and you wanted to remove the cables it will likely wake up. That's a pain and if it happens unnoticed it can lead to a very hot MB(P) in your bag. There's an easy way to prevent that from happening though: put your MB(P) to sleep (through the menu or with cmd-option-eject) and immediately pull out the USB cable. If you're fast enough, you will have removed the cable before the MB(P) actually goes to sleep. Removing DVI and power later won't wake it. Another method is to first pull the USB cable. Once it's removed, you open the lid, and use either the built in trackpad or KB (either cmd-option-eject or power followed by s) to put it to sleep.
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 17, 2008 at 12:14 PM. )
     
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Jan 17, 2008, 08:56 PM
 
I was just thinking about this today! I had forgotten that you can do that.

I have a coworkers 867 12in Powerbook. Its got a dead HD, so its more or less useless. I'm thinking of using a small 3 GIG Firewire HD I have to boot off of, then leave it hooked up to my TV so I can stream video from it. I guess all I need to do is get myself an external keyboard and mouse.

Sould RF Keyboards and mice work just as well? They're much cheaper than BT keyboards and mice, and I really don't want to spend a lot of cash getting my system set up.
     
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Jan 18, 2008, 05:34 AM
 
SleepLess 2.6.1 software download - Mac OS X - VersionTracker

I used to use this on my macbook pro a while back to run torrent's while I slept. I just had it on the menu bar and activated when I needed to run and just disabled when I didnt.
     
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Jan 24, 2008, 09:46 AM
 
Great tip!
     
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Feb 16, 2008, 09:38 PM
 
Anyone know why it only works with AC connected?
     
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Mar 10, 2008, 09:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
How to get it to work:
• Connect your MB(P) to an external KB and mouse. The Apple Bluetooth KB and MM will also work.
• Connect your MB(P) to AC power. This is IMPORTANT. Closed-lid mode will only work with AC power!
• Connect a screen to your MB(P). VGA or DVI doesn't matter.
• Close the lid and put your MB(P) to sleep.
• Hit a key on the KB, press the mouse button, or hit a button on your Apple remote
-> You should now be able to use your MB(P) with only the external display. The internal display will remain off (even if you open the lid).
Does not really work for me!
It wakes up but falls a sleep again just a second later (and I can loop this forever)!
Any ideas?
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Simon  (op)
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Mar 10, 2008, 10:43 AM
 
When it does that it usually...
• doesn't have power. Make sure it's properly plugged into a powered socket.
• needs an SMC reset.
• needs to have the battery calibrated.
     
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Mar 10, 2008, 11:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by badidea View Post
Does not really work for me!
It wakes up but falls a sleep again just a second later (and I can loop this forever)!
Any ideas?
Are you running 10.5.2 with the Graphics update?? If so, you are probably SOL. There are a ton of people over at the Apple Support Forums complaining about the exact same thing. I, and others, have tried just about every "fix it" step possible (SMC reset, battery recalibration, the useless "repair permissions"), to no avail.

Apple really screwed the pooch with this latest update when it comes to MBP graphics. So far, I can't wake the display from sleep ~75% of the time (Which SUCKs when you go to give a lecture), cant boot when connected to an external monitor (if I want to use anything but the native MBP resolution on my nice big external monitor), and cant use lid closed mode. All of which worked just fine before the 10.5.2 + Graphics update, and all of which seem to be wide spread enough that there are multiple threads about each (with lots of 'Me Too!' posts) over at Apple.
     
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Mar 10, 2008, 03:10 PM
 
Thanks for the info!
Yes, I run 10.5.2 with the Graphics update on a MBP.
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Mar 10, 2008, 03:16 PM
 
Three jeers for modern Apple software QC! (But to be fair 10.5.2 has been great for me, aside from occasionally losing USB during sleep.)

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Apr 28, 2008, 03:32 PM
 
This might be obvious, but I have always run my apple laptops with the lid closed (or conversely the lid open, but screen off) using this method (worked on both a powerbook G4 and a santa rosa MBP):

(1) While the laptop is asleep or off, connect external monitor

(2) Wake (or power-on) the laptop (either by opening the lid, or hitting the keypad)

(3) Almost immediately (I mean within about 1 second, before the screen turns on from sleep mode or the screen turns on from starting up the laptop) close the lid.

(4) The laptop screen will not turn on, but within about 3 seconds the external monitor will turn on

(5) I wait about 5 seconds and then open up the laptop lid

(6) The laptop screen will not turn on -- the external monitor will continue to operate as the sole monitor

I personally find this useful, as I do a lot of photoediting and only want my color accurate external monitor. I use the above steps so that only the external monitor is on, but I can still use the laptop's keyboard. I don't know what happens when external mice or keyboards are attached, but I can tell you that I attach/use a USB wacom tablet and the above steps work fine.

Hopefully this proves useful to some.
     
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Apr 28, 2008, 04:22 PM
 
Out of interest, while I see why you only want the colour calibrated monitor for the photos, why isn't the laptop screen useful for tool palettes?
     
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Apr 28, 2008, 04:35 PM
 
No, you're right, it is. I first used the process out of necessity -- my old powerbook G4 had only 64 megs of vram so I wanted all available video memory to drive the external monitor. That is obviously not an issue with a new MBP and only a 20 inch external monitor.

My concern is that the color calibration will not be accurate on the external if the computer is driving both the laptop screen and external. In other words, I have seperately calibrated (as you need to) both my laptop monitor and external display. Both calibrations are monitor specific, and I haven't wanted to take the chance that the external monitor might be using the laptop screen calibration (if that makes any sense). If someone can tell me how I can confirm for sure that the calibration is correctly applied to the external monitor, then I would use both.
     
Simon  (op)
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Apr 29, 2008, 02:29 AM
 
But why the fuss with opening and closing the lid within a second? If you attach a USB device that will wake your MBP in closed-lid mode. Once it has woken up and the external screen is running, you can open the lid to use the internal KB and the internal screen will stay off.
     
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Apr 29, 2008, 11:44 AM
 
yeah same result; i just do not normally remove my usb devices
     
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Jun 15, 2008, 11:28 AM
 
I am wondering, anyone know how hot a 2.16ghz MBP gets in clamshell mode?

I am thinking of maybe putting mine in large desk draw (relatively good airflow but not great), and running the cables for display and AC through the back of the desk up to the top where the monitor is... but if it will run *very* hot, I'll give it a miss for fear of frying something.
     
Simon  (op)
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Jun 15, 2008, 11:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Placid Casual View Post
I am thinking of maybe putting mine in large desk draw (relatively good airflow but not great), and running the cables for display and AC through the back of the desk up to the top where the monitor is... but if it will run *very* hot, I'll give it a miss for fear of frying something.
Unless the drawer is absolutely airtight, chances are it will hardly get warmer in the drawer compared to sitting on the table.
     
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Apr 20, 2009, 03:03 PM
 
Do I really need a keyboard attached? What if I want to use Jaadu VNC on my iPhone, for example? Is a keyboard still necessary?
     
Simon  (op)
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Apr 20, 2009, 03:23 PM
 
You need at least one USB device to wake the computer.
     
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Apr 20, 2009, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
You need at least one USB device to wake the computer.
Or a bluetooth keyboard?
     
Simon  (op)
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Apr 20, 2009, 03:27 PM
 
Exactly. You need some device to wake the Mac.
     
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Nov 7, 2010, 01:01 PM
 
well i bought this macbook white 13 june 2008 my first macbook and i open it and the end of the latch is cracked will apple store fix this cause i like alot my macbok white 13 or what will they do
     
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Dec 6, 2011, 07:52 PM
 
It's not nearly as complex as the first guy says,
Just download insomnia
InsomniaX for Mac - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com
keeps you're mac running with the lid closed.
Be careful though because if you run it to heavily with the lid closed it will overheat
     
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Feb 14, 2012, 01:01 AM
 
I am wondering, anyone know how hot a 2.16ghz MBP gets in clamshell mode?
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Feb 14, 2012 at 07:43 AM. Reason: removed link to tracking image)
     
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Feb 14, 2012, 04:28 AM
 
Pretty hot but they should be built for it. That said, the GPUs are prone to going in those so I wouldn't play Call of Duty on it with the lid shut.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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