10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 28, 2012 6:23 PM by Tgara
Tgara Level 4 Level 4 (3,540 points)

I have a mid 2010 27-inch iMac which I use every day at home.


When I get up in the morning, I start the iMac to check email, calendar, etc. before leaving for work two hours later, I shut computer down.


When I return home several hours later, I will restart the iMac again, surf the web before dinner, maybe play a game after dinner. Before going to bed, I will shut the iMac down again.


The above process repeats every day. I question is this:  which is a better practice? Starting and shutting down the computer during the day, or turning it on once in the morning and shutting it down once in the evening, or not at all?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 27 inch, 2.8GHz Quad-Core i5, 12GB RAM
  • captfred Level 7 Level 7 (26,275 points)

    I just put mine to sleep unless I'll be gone for several days.  I believe that's the recommendation in the user manual as well.

  • Mac Updated Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I would just put to sleep...


    1. you can use a setting that also puts the Hard Drive to sleep so that wont be spinning constantly whilst your iMac is asleep.
    2. It uses next to no power
    3. When you want to start using it again it there, rather than waiting for it to boot with shutdown






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  • Element_37 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Shut Down. PLEASE for heavens sake, shut down the computer. Do it about 3 times a week before you go to bed, again, not a restart but a Shut Down. That will keep your computer healthy and improve the life of your CPU

  • Oldandweary Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I can not agree with Element 37.   Shutting down will have no effect on the health of your computer and even less on the life of your CPU. 

    Sleep on a iMac powers the ram which keeps all information present but the hard drive is powered down and nothing else is powered. The amount of electricity used is negligible and the machine generates no heat.

    The machine sleeps is seconds and returns in seconds which is very handy .  I have seen reports of individuals not actually closing down their machine in years.

    Sleep is more convenient and will not reduce life of the machine relative to starting up and closing down.

  • bobwild Level 4 Level 4 (1,625 points)
    • I leave my iMac powered up all the time. The only time it is powered off is when I am away from home for more than 1 day.
    • I never sleep the iMac because it is our iTunes server for AppleTV and music.
    • I have it set to sleep the screen after 20 minutes
    • I never put the hardrives to sleep. Two reasons, first becuase of the iTunes server for AppleTV and music, and second I believe a harddrive will last longer if it is left spinning instead of being powered off and on several times a day.

    My 24" iMac was purchased Sept. 2008. I have 3 external Hardrives that are also running all the time.

  • tanya3300 Level 2 Level 2 (270 points)

    I've got a better idea.  I have a 2009 iMac.  It came with a booklet called "Everything Mac".  On pages 15 & 16 it has a section called "Putting your IMac to Sleep or Shutting It Down" and gives information as to when to put your iMac to sleep and when to shut it down.  If your iMac came with a similar booklet, I'd give those pages a glance and take it from there.

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (62,210 points)

    I run 24/7 unless gone for an extended period. BTW, I never sleep desktop machines or their HDs, just their displays. Most electromagnetic devices fail on startup when the power surge occurs, even if they have a trickle charge coming in while shutdown.

  • Donald Worrell Level 4 Level 4 (1,785 points)

    i share my imac with my wife.  it is on all the time.  it just goes to sleep when we walk away.  5 years on the first G5 imac.  My new intel imac is one year old and has never been turned off.  i only got a new imac because my wife has thousands of photos and iphoto was getting really slow on the old imac.  the new imac handels the photos perfectly.  

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    Speaking from an electrical point of view, two things kill everything electrical, heat and startup. Cold components will allow more current to flow and work the powersupply harder, heat just vaporizes the components, sometomes slowly and sometimes with a slight "POOF". Sleep mode for sure.

  • Tgara Level 4 Level 4 (3,540 points)

    Thanks for everyone's advice. Following up on Tanya's suggestion, I took a look at the user guide for my mid 2010 iMac. It says that if you plan to leave your Mac alone for several days, you should shut it down. However, if you plan to leave it alone for only a day or two, it is acceptable to simply put it to sleep. I will likely follow these practices.


    Again, thanks to all who replied.