Power Management

How Do I Change the Power Settings On My Apple Computer?

Community Network does not push power profiles or power settings to Apple computers. It is your responsibility as an Apple user to optimize the power settings on your computer. CN is investigating solutions to centrally manage settings on Apple computers.

You can use the following instructions to change your selected power settings.

  1. Click on the "Apple" icon in the top left hand corner.
  2. Select "System Preferences."
  3. On the System Preferences screen, click on the "Energy Saver" icon (it looks like a compact fluorescent light bulb).
  4. If you have a laptop (MacBook, MacBook Pro, etc.) and would like to maximize the power savings, please utilize at least the settings below.
    1. Computer sleep: 30 minutes
    2. Display sleep: 5-10 minutes
    3. Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible - check
    4. Wake for network access - check
    5. Automatically reduce brightness before display goes to sleep - check
  5. The image below is only when the computer is plugged into a power charger. You can select "Battery" to configure the power options for when the computer utilizes battery power.

Apple power settings

If you need further assistance, please contact CN.

How Do I Change the Power Settings On My Windows Computer?

If you would like to change the power profile selection on your computer, please follow the instructions below.

By default, OSU Energy Helper is selected.

* Note - The instructions might be slightly different depending on the configuration of your control panel view.

Windows 7

  1. Click on "Start." Picture of the Start button
  2. Click "Control Panel"
  3. Click "Power Options"
  4. Click "Change battery settings"
  5. Select the power profile you desire

Windows XP

  1. Click on "Start"
  2. Go up to "Settings
  3. Click on "Control Panel"
  4. Click on the "Power Options icon" (it is an image of a battery and a power plug)
  5. Change the Power Schemes drop down to OSU Energy Saver
  6. Click "OK"
  7. Close the Control Panel window

What Are the Benefits of Using Power Schemes and Power Settings?

Q: How much would this really save the university?

The estimated savings to the university is just over $70,000 per year and over 1 million lbs of CO2 emissions. These numbers apply just to CN-supported computers, which account for approximately 60% of the computers on campus for faculty, staff, and IS computer labs.

Q: What other benefits does this provide me as a computer user and the university?

  • Reduced electricity usage.
  • Reduced heat output and air conditioning usage.
  • Smaller environment footprint and carbon emissions.
  • Longer lifespan of equipment.
  • The documents and state of your computer are retained after the computer wakes up, either during the day, the next day or after the weekend! This means you are able to pick up where you left off easier and faster.

Q: What about Energy Star Ratings?

A: The OSU Energy Saver power scheme we have created meets or exceeds Energy Star guidelines.

What are the CN power schemes and how do they work? How do they affect OSU laptops?

Most modern consumer computer hardware includes components that can detect whether the computer has been idle, and notify the operating system (Windows or MacOS).  In this case, “idle” indicates that there has been no typing on the keyboard or operation of the mouse.  Originally, the purpose of this feature was to extend the battery life of portable computers by reducing their power consumption when not in active use.  These features are now available in nearly all consumer computers.  A power scheme is simply a list of power-saving actions to be taken at specified time thresholds of inactivity. 

To illustrate this, let’s examine the two power schemes CN has implemented.  These two schemes have been named "OSU Energy Saver" and "OSU Energy Helper." Here are the descriptions of those power schemes.

* Note - these power profiles only apply to Windows computers. To configure power settings for an Apple, please click here.

OSU Energy Helper (Default)

  Plugged in On Battery
Turn off Monitor(s) 10 5
Turn off Hard Drive 10 5
Sleep the computer Never Never
Hibernate the computer Never Never

OSU Energy Saver

  Plugged in On Battery
Turn off Monitor(s) 10 5
Turn off Hard Drive 10 5
Sleep the computer 30 20
Hibernate the computer Never Never

The first column describes the energy-saving action to be taken.  The second and third columns list the inactivity threshold (in minutes) which will initiate the action, depending on whether the computer is plugged in or running from battery, respectively.  As you can see, “Saver” profile is more ambitious: it will put the computer into sleep mode (see below) after 30 minutes, whereas the “Helper” profile will not. 

Q: Does this affect my OSU laptop?

A: Yes.  The power settings are identical to desktop computers when you are plugged into power.  When you are running on the battery the settings are slightly different.  In the chart above, see the difference between the Plugged in and On Battery columns.

Because sleep mode offers much greater energy savings, we strongly recommend that you use the “Saver” profile unless there is a specific reason not to do so.

What happens if I turn off my computer at night? What about Patch Tuesday? Backups?

Q: What happens if I turn off my computer at night?

Turning off your computer is certainly a good idea, and we encourage you to continue to do that. However, using the OSU Energy Saver scheme (available on Windows computers only) can save additional energy if you step away from your desk during the workday for 10 minutes or more. Placing your computer in sleep mode also allows you to quickly pick up on your work from the previous day. 

Q: What about Patch Tuesday?

CN has developed a simple method that will wake your computer up on Tuesday evening and allow it to run the necessary updates and the weekly antivirus scan.  We ask that you do NOT turn off your computers on Tuesday evenings. Putting your computer to sleep or using the OSU Energy Saver scheme is recommended.

Q: What about scheduled jobs that run overnight, like my backup?

Windows: If you have operations that run overnight, such as file backups, they are probably triggered with a scheduled task. Follow these instructions:

  1. Click Start – Settings – Control Panel
  2. Double Click “Scheduled Tasks”
  3. Double Click on the desired task
  4. Click on the Settings Tab
  5. Check the box “Wake the computer to run this task” located at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Click OK

Apple: Your Mac should be using Time Machine which does not run on a set schedule, rather all the time, so your data backup should not be affected by your computer going to sleep.

Q: Does the computer prompt for a password after waking up?

Yes, the computer will prompt for you to log in. Once you are logged in, your work will be restored to where you left it previously.