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Shutting Down Your Mac When Away for Long Periods... Yes or No?


Most won’t be away from our Mac for more than a few hours or maybe a couple of days, emergencies, study trips, and summer or other travel can lead to many days, weeks, or even months in which your Mac isn’t in use. Should you shut it down? And if you do, will anything go wrong while it’s shut down in your absence? Should you leave it plugged in, whether it’s battery-powered or not?

You should also take additional steps if you rely on Time Machine or internet backups.

Shut down your Mac

If you’re not planning on using your Mac during your absence or while it’s in storage, the best thing you can do is shut it down.

If it’s a desktop Mac, after using  > Shut Down, unplug it from wall power. This could prevent damage from an electrical problem that occurs while the Mac is on its own.

With a Mac laptop, there’s no strong reason to leave it plugged in, either. Since Apple switched to lithium-ion batteries in its laptops starting 25 years ago, the issue with batteries depleted to zero has disappeared.

However, to reduce wear, unplugging it after shutting down will help at least a small amount, as well as isolating it from any unattended power issues, as with a desktop.

If you have any questions about your Mac… ask us… anytime.