The mysteries of auto sleep

When I purchased my iMac it came with Leopard 10.5.6 and auto sleep worked without problems, but after updating to 10.5.7 my iMac no longer went to sleep automatically and this continued after 10.5.8. Updated my iMac to Snow Leopard 10.6, everything went perfectly and to my surprise auto sleep worked absolutely perfectly, whatever I set it too. But, I updated to 10.6.1 and auto sleep has gone again. It's not a big deal, but I've been really impressed with Snow Leopard and so surprised to see this problem come back. Tried most of the suggestions that people make, without success and beyond Apple programs, have very little installed on my system. Just wondered if anyone had any brilliant ideas on this?

This is for a Mac that won't sleep.
Here is Apple's KB article HT1776 with their tips.
Mine follow;
USB devices and hubs often cause Macs to not sleep or wake quickly from sleep (notably HP printers and scanners, HP all in ones, and Cannon scanners). Disconnect all USB except for keyboard and mouse and try. If it sleeps, add one back at a time testing after each one to find the culprit.
If you've set your Mac to receive faxes, it may not be able to sleep. It might also have a damaged preferences file.
If you use your Mac for faxing, open System Preferences. click Print & Fax, click the Faxing tab, and uncheck the Receive Faxes On This Computer box.
If that doesn't work or you've never faxed on your Mac, go to Finder/Hard Drive /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration and delete the and files (if your Mac asks, type your admin. password).
If the latter file isn't present in the folder, go to user name(probably your name)/Library/Preferences, delete the file, and reboot your Mac.
Hope this helps!
P.S. One member here reported this (Michael Gleason);
"I have had this problem with my IMac G5. It is surprisingly irritating. LaCie's Silverkeeper backup software was the cause. By default it gave itself permission to wake up the computer to check if a backup was needed. Do you have this or a similar program installed which has scheduled activities including wake-up permissions as an option?"
Dave Hamilton provided this link,, to a member, which addresses failure of deep sleep with some users that updated and added new FireWire and USB card.
Also, here is Apple KB article TA2469 about PCI cards and sleep.
tomhorvat adds this; After few days of messing around I found out that I had desktop background (wallpaper) set to change every 1 minute.
After unchecking "Change picture..." in system preferences (under Desktop/Screen saver), my powerbook went to sleep all by itself.
Tristan Currier noticed this; "I have a Canon printer(shared) and my imac would not sleep. I opened up printer/fax in system prefs and noticed it said the printer was in use when it was off. Opened up the printer queue and noticed about 7 pending documents. Deleted them all and now it sleeps.
Check the printer queue!"
Allan Jones says "sometimes there is Network activity: launch System Preferences > Energy Saver > "Options" tab and uncheck "Wake for Ethernet network administrator access."
Good Luck!  DALE

Similar Messages

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    I have spoken at length with AppleCare about this issue and understand that this is "by design." For instance, we wouldn't want the computer to constantly go to sleep while watching a movie or downloading and conversely, if we are actively working at our computers it's nice that Gmail auto-refreshes and keeps us appraised of incoming mail. However, since the vast majority of users now leave their browsers with multiple tabs open and due to the fact that more and more websites now auto-refresh, the auto-sleep function has become outdated and non-functional. While users can always manually put their computers to sleep, everyone at some time or another forgets to do so. This is exactly why computers are supposed to auto-sleep in the first place. Aggregated across millions of users, this results in a huge waste of electricity.
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    I work in the energy efficiency field, specifically in lighting, and care deeply about this issue. I consider Apple to be an industry leader on this issue as well. I'm not familiar with the technical side of this issue, but I assume that with the right type of programming, the operating system could override a webpage's auto-update feature and activate auto-sleep, while not interfering with functions where a user would not want the computer to go to sleep, such as watching a movie. With Lion, Apple has focused its energy on making the computer adjust to the user,rather than the user adjusting to the computer. Yet, in this case, it appears to be the other way around.
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  • Auto sleep

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    You should not run your iBook with the lid closed. Apple has never really specifically said why, but they make it clear here not to:

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    Message was edited by: Enio Rigolin2

    Hi Enio
    First eject and disconnect any External HD's, iPod's, iPhone's, iPad's, other USB devices, turn off your printer and see if it will sleep.
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    +2. Unplug the computer's power cord.+
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    +4. Release the power button.+
    +5. Attach the computers power cable.+
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    Then if that does not help, see >

  • Mac Pro does not auto-sleep (manual sleeping if fine!)

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  • IPad doesn't auto sleep

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  • Auto sleep problem resolved

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    Hi all,
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