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Learn Lion Week: Schedule your Mac to turn on and off

Part four of Learn Lion Week helps you quickly and easily set up a remote system to wake your machine and put it to sleep

Tutorial Information Box
Main Tutorial ImageSometimes you need things to run a little smoother and be just a little more organised. Your Mac can help you do this with a little-known function tucked away in the Energy Saver portion of your System Preferences. It lets you schedule on and off times so that your Mac can come to life and close down on its own. There are a number of reasons why you would want to do this. The most common would be to set up a few items to launch upon startup so that when your machine loads it also fires up the programs you need to use that day; this will save you bags of time. You could also, if you are keen to extend your Mac’s automated processes even further, use Automator to create a set of workflow options so processes like taking pictures from a digital camera, converting file types, or getting feeds from Safari. All of these would be able to run from startup with a Mac that is scheduled to turn on at a specific time.

Step 11: Tucked away

Open up System Preferences, then click on the Energy Saver icon, and then, on the right for the interface, click on the Schedule button. You may be prompted for a password in order to make changes.

Step 22: Timer time

Now you can use the drop-down menus available to pick the times you want to use and then type in the actual hours that your Mac will turn on and off or sleep and wake.

This tutorial is the fourth in our Learn Lion Week series; for more articles just like this, visit the Learn Lion Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to OS X Lion. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearnLionWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.