If you turn off your Mac before you go to bed or leave work, but don’t like waiting for it to start up every day, you can schedule it to turn on at a specific time. Then your Mac will always be ready to go before you even sit down.
To get started, click on the Apple logo at the top left, then click on “System Preferences”.
Click “Power Save” if you’re running macOS 10.15 Catalina or earlier. In macOS 11 Big Sur or later, click “Battery”.
On Catalina or earlier, click “Schedule” at the bottom of the “Energy Saving” menu. On Big Sur or newer, click “Schedule” in the side menu.
The window that appears next will be different on Catalina (macOS 10.15) and Big Sur (macOS 11), but the options are basically the same.
To schedule a start time, check the box next to “Start or wake up,” then select a day and time. From the drop-down menu, you can select “Weekends”, “Weekdays”, “Daily” or a specific day of the week.
Right below that, you can also schedule a time for your Mac to put to sleep, shut down, or restart each day. If you want to set this as well, click the checkbox on the row under Startup options and then select a day and time.
When you’re done, click “OK” (or “Apply” on Big Sur), then close “System Preferences.”
If you have a MacBook, the start time you just set will only work when the device is plugged into a wall adapter or charger. This prevents your MacBook from waking up when you don’t want it and draining the battery.
More Mac startup automation tips
If you want to save even more time, you can activate automatic connection in the “Users and groups” menu. Then you won’t have to select your account and enter your password every day. However, keep in mind that it’s not a good idea if your Mac is in a location where others could be using it.
You’ll save even more time if your favorite apps are already running when you sit in front of your Mac. You can configure them to open as soon as a connection occurs in the “Connection items” section of the “Users and groups” menu.
Once everything is set up, you can get down to business every day!