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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed Laptop Macs
If you want to use your MacBook as a desktop system, you can connect a USB keyboard (and of course, a monitor), and the internal screen will stay turned off that way. I rarely use my MacBook outside the office, so this setup is perfect for me. It also turns out that the Macbook fits perfectly between the stem and the panel of my Belinea o.display 24" -- which means that it does not use any valuable desktop space at all.

Problem: In order to power-on the MacBook, I had to remove it out of its resting spot, to open its lid which is covering the on/off switch. Not a nice concept, Apple.

Solution: I taped an old PCI slot cover to my MacBook, as shown here: Mounting 1 Mounting 2. The slot cover sticks out far enough, and can easily be bent a little bit (just about 1/4 inch), which presses the button on its other end, inside the MacBook.

Here are some pictures of the full setup: Setup back 1 Setup back 2. Mounting and remounting of the slot cover is a matter of seconds.
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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed | 34 comments | Create New Account
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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: Coumerelli on Sep 09, '08 07:47:54AM

iNgenious!

---
"The best way to accelerate a PC is 9.8 m/s2"



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: shrek on Sep 09, '08 07:47:57AM

Or just remove the battery and use the disconnect the power cord for a unclean shutdown (the only moment you'd need the button) and in the System Preferences go to "options" and tick "restart automatically after a power failure" as soon as you pop in your power cable it should turn on again.

I wouldn't like sharp metal near my screen! Maybe it's a safe region on the MB but on my MBP it would touch the screen!



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: guns on Sep 09, '08 08:16:55AM

Ha ha I love it!

I plan on turning my macbook into a server in a couple of years, so this may be useful to me eventually.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: Phaedrus5 on Sep 09, '08 08:30:18AM

I'm pretty sure that under the Apple menu there's a choice for "Shut Down." No jerry-rigging required.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 11:20:17AM

But where ist the menu when you want to turn it on?



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: knagurski on Sep 09, '08 08:47:58AM

If you have an older Apple USB keyboard with a power button, you don't have to worry about using twisted metal.

A word of warning though... using your laptop with the screen closed produces a lot more heat than with the screen open. You laptop cools itself through the keyboard and with the screen closed, you are baking your LCD. I did this for several months with a PowerBook G3 (Lombard) and my LCD faded to nothing. If you can, let the MacBook's screen stay open a little and set let the brightness to minimum, or see if there is a way to turn it off completely (on my old Lombard, you used to be able to wake or startup with the screen closed and then open the lid again without the screen kicking in until you went to discover displays).



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: rxcfc on Sep 09, '08 09:08:06AM

Be careful in comparing a new MacBook to a G3. The hardware design is significantly different and just because you had a problem with your G3 doesn't mean that the same problems exist for a MacBook. Also, given the fact that the laptop is turned on the side, the heat will rise up, being less likely to get trapped under the screen.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: knagurski on Sep 15, '08 07:59:10AM

My current machine is actually a MacBook Pro and it definitely does still dissipate heat through the keyboard (as well as the bottom and vents on the sides and back), though having the machine propped up should let it go through the back a little bit more and reduce the heat on the screen.

All I'm saying is that although you can safely run the machine closed, I wouldn't for prolonged periods of time. If you just use the machine as a desktop with an external monitor, an iMac is cheaper, more powerful and purpose built.

Still, you couldn't prise my MBP out of my cold dead hands!



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: frgough on Sep 09, '08 11:21:23AM

You can't start up Macs with the keyboard anymore. For some reason Apple removed this extremely useful feature some years ago.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: knagurski on Sep 15, '08 08:03:08AM

Really? Shame, that was a useful function, but it's been a year or two since I used a keyboard that had a power key... my brother stole my good old MacAlley and I haven't seen it since!



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: S on Sep 09, '08 10:42:12AM
Not a nice concept, Apple.
Ever thought that you're not meant to use a MacBook with its lid closed?

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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 11:23:16AM
Refer to this from Apple. Thea have designed a mode, called "closed-lid mode".

Link:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1308

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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: drudus on Sep 09, '08 11:25:07AM

From the images it looks like the MacBook could be opened a few inches while on the 'stand'. This would make it possible to wake from sleep with the keyboard - a bit like powering on an iMac with your hand round the back.
It may be enough to keep the PCI cover away from the screen & help with cooling too. A bigger desk may be cheaper than a new display if you accidentally pull instead of push the PCI cover.

I think Apple have a reason for disabling the use of a laptop without the screen open, have you had to alter the firmware, or do they now operate when using external monitors & the lid closed?



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 11:29:00AM

You probably haven't visited the link, I posted earlier. The MacBook has been designed for that purpose.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: solefald on Sep 09, '08 11:43:44AM

To switch it back on all you have to do is disconnect the power cord for 5 secons and then plug it back it. I've been doing this for the past 2.5 years on my first generation MBP. Works with both, Tiger and Leopard.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 12:49:11PM

Sorry, I can confirm that this does not work with the most recent MacBook anymore.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ether on Sep 09, '08 01:25:22PM

At least with a MBP, you can wake the computer from sleep simply by unplugging and replugging the USB keyboard.

If you really want to power it down (as opposed to sleep), this won't work, but I can't think why you would.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 01:48:47PM

Thanks. But your comment is far off.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 01:53:50PM

We are *not* discussing waking scenes.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: iRideSnow on Sep 09, '08 01:45:04PM

I'm confused why you would be powering your MacBook off/on enough to warrant doing this and risk scratching your screen? It's pretty rare that I ever have to power my Macs off. Even traveling back and forth between my home and my office, I don't power my MBP off. I just close the lid.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 01:51:24PM

The whole thing here relates to the moments where you must turn the device on.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: cmdahler on Sep 10, '08 05:36:30AM

I think the question is why would you want to turn your laptop off/on so much that would make this a useful hint. I and most people I know who have a Mac (whether a laptop or a desktop) haven't actually turned off the computer literally for years. The only time the thing ever gets rebooted is during a software update. What's the point?



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 10, '08 08:10:11AM

The reason I am going to power down every evening is because the MacBook is connected to a network account on the server. A backup of all accounts is performed every night.
I woudn't feel comfortable by backing up an account with a user still connected.

Old school, I know.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: cmdahler on Sep 10, '08 09:28:30AM

Not to belabor the point, but wouldn't simply putting the laptop to sleep with the "Wake for Ethernet network administrator access" checkbox unchecked in the Energy Saver preferences solve your connection issue? Obviously, you do whatever you want with your computer, but it seems like just putting your laptop to sleep when you're done with it and hitting a key on the keyboard in the morning to wake it up would be quite a bit simpler than jury rigging something that, in spite of the best intentions, could eventually mar the surface of your computer, or at worst, damage the power button if it got accidentally hit with enough force.

Just a thought.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 09, '08 01:57:59PM

and you also don't seem to realize that scraching the sreen won't happen.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: paulpro on Sep 09, '08 04:47:09PM

That's quite clever; the pics made me chuckle. It would be great if we all would post more of our home-made, jury-rigged "hard-hacks" with pieces of hardware we use for purposes other than what they were intended for.

---
macskill.com



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: variante9 on Sep 10, '08 07:42:06AM

Got a mbp and an apple display at the office and take the mb home every day.

Procedure: Leaving=sleep, remove power/usb/fw/monitor cable, go home
In the morning:attach cables, press space on the external keyboard, work

I don't remember when I last shut down my mac. Restarts work without opening the lid.

temperature is fine. Rarely the fan starts (no heavy computing, though).



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: ratzfatz on Sep 10, '08 08:12:01AM

This is fine whilst working on local account only. I am connected to a network account, so this is not an option.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: steveb98 on Sep 10, '08 12:28:53PM

Have you tried Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-Eject key. That is a safe shutdown, but no dialog screen it just shuts down.



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why keep lid closed at all?
Authored by: chidimaar on Sep 10, '08 04:01:24PM

This is slightly off topic, but - in addition to agreeing with some of the others who wonder about the need to shut down at all, I have a more basic question. Why do people bother to close the lid of the macbook at all?

I've been using these laptops as my primary machines since the days of the Powerbook 165c (yes! ah... the memories of grad school) and have used them with an external monitor whenever possible. And when doing that, I simply use the mac's built-in multiple monitor support to get myself more screen real estate by using both displays!

I understand that closing the lid and tucking the laptop under the monitor may save some desk real estate, but I'd rather sacrifice that for much greater screen real estate! That's just me, of course... but it sure looks cool when students wander into my office nowadays! :-)

Oh, and I too rarely shutdown my macs.



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why keep lid closed at all?
Authored by: TvE on Sep 14, '08 06:42:21AM
Why do people bother to close the lid of the macbook at all?

In order to be able to use a better display + keyboard(!)
Actually according to danish "work environment law" you are not allowed to work for more that two hours a day on a labtop - the employer - in case you work longer - have to provide you with a "real" environment (mouse + keyboard + monitor etc.)

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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: propagandhi on Sep 10, '08 05:23:46PM

This is just plain ridiculous. How can this be classed as a hint? It's not a hint, it's not even a remotely good hack or mod, its just plain stupid for so many reasons, but I will not elaborate.

Oh by the way if you want a way to turn your mac on from 10 feet away, I invented a pole with a bent nail on it that you can smack your expensive equipment with.....



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: Anonymous on Sep 13, '08 11:23:41PM

Please don't risk scratching the screen. You can logout and still put the Macbook to sleep. If your vague "network login" is some sort of background daemon, you can even drop in to console mode after leaving the GUI, logout the network account, and still go to sleep. You can even remove the battery, enable auto reboot on power failure in Energy preferences, and then use the shell command "shutdown -u now", and toggle the power supply to boot it back up the next morning.



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Switch MacBook power on/off with its lid closed
Authored by: robogobo on Sep 14, '08 03:54:30AM

Seriously, there are so many better ways to do this. Just put it to sleep from the menu and wake it from the external keyboard. A notebook consumes such little power during sleep (even less during safe sleep). Good god, man, don't tape a piece of metal to your machine.



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