How to turn off the Mac display, not turning off (without switching to “Sleep Mode”) the computer itself

We often run some tasks on a Mac, which does not require our presence, and move away from the computer.

In order not to consume electricity, can turn off the display, but how to do that, so that Mac wouldn’t go to sleep, which can interrupt a particular process? In this article we will answer this question.

Turn off the monitor with the button

The first and most banal/simple/in an ancient way, provided, that you have an external monitor, is disabling the display through the power button. Of course the process is somewhat burdensome, if you have several external monitors. When you turn off one external display, macOS automatically reconfigures the location of the desktops between the rest.


Second way — dimming brightness with Mac function keys. Most often they are located on the buttons F1 and F2. This is one of the easiest ways to mute an embedded display. The disadvantage of the method is, that on old Macs blackout occurs in a narrow range, But on the new Apple computers, you can mute the display almost to dark. The brightness of the external monitor is not adjustable.

Power off (sleeping mode) monitor using hotkeys

The third and most advanced way is to use one of the following shortcuts:

Control + ⇧Shift + Eject key (Eject)


Control + ⇧Shift + Power button (Power)

When you press this key combination, all displays, Mac-connected, + your own computer display goes out, Yes, and all system processes will continue to work.

Disconnect (sleeping mode) monitor using Active Angles

Besides, macOS has a great feature Active corners, allowing a gesture on the trackpad or the course of the mouse to execute various commands. To customize gestures, open System Preferences and go to the Mission Control section.

In the lower left corner click the Active corners button.

You will see four drop-down windows, which correspond to the corners of the monitor. Select the desired angle, specify the command «Put the monitor to sleep» and click «OK».

Now the gesture of the trackpad or mouse to the selected corner of the screen will automatically turn off (put to sleep) monitor.

Pay attention to, that after waking up (pressing any key) the system may ask to enter a password for the account, of course, if installed.

In this case, you can increase the level of comfort in the menu → System settings… → Protection and security and specifying time, after which macOS will ask for a password when exiting sleep mode or screensaver.