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How to change screen timeout on Mac?

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  • 3 min read

As users spend more time on their Macs for work, entertainment, and various activities, it becomes crucial to customise settings according to their preferences and routines. One such customisable feature is the screen timeout, which determines how long your Mac’s display stays on when unused. Adjusting the screen timeout can enhance energy efficiency and contribute to a more personalised and efficient user experience.

This article discusses screen timeout on Mac and how to change screen timeout on macOS Ventura, and earlier versions.

Also read: How to change the screen saver on Mac?

Screen timeout on Mac

Screen timeout is a standard feature in all Macs, designed to conserve battery life and reduce electricity consumption. By default, MacBooks are configured to activate screen timeout after two minutes of inactivity when running on battery and after 10 minutes when connected to a power source.

Certain applications, such as those used for watching movies or YouTube, can prevent the screen timeout from kicking in, ensuring uninterrupted viewing.

In most scenarios, having your Mac screen on continuously isn’t necessary. This is where the screen timeout feature proves to be highly beneficial. As with many other features, adjusting the inactivity timeout on your Mac is an option, allowing users to customise this setting according to their preferences.

Also read: How to rename a file on Mac?

How to change screen timeout on macOS Ventura?

The steps to change screen timeout on macOS Ventura differ from earlier macOS versions. Here are the steps to do that:

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo, and then in the dropdown menu, click on System Settings.

Step 2: In the sidebar, click on Lock Screen and then on the right side, click on Expandable menu beside Turn display off when inactive.

Step 3: Now, choose the time of your choice. You can also select Never to stop your Mac from going to sleep.

How to change screen timeout on earlier versions?

To change the screen timeout on macOS versions earlier than Ventura, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Click on the Apple logo, and then in the dropdown menu, click on System Preferences.
  • Step 2: In system preferences, click on Battery.
  • Step 3: In the sidebar, click on the Battery option.
  • Step 4: Adjust the slider as per your need.

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Akash Singh

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: