How to Schedule a Startup, Shutdown, and Restart in macOS Ventura


The macOS Ventura update brought a fresh design and a host of nifty features. Apple made significant changes to System Settings—and while it added new things, it also took out some useful features like the Energy Saver settings, which allowed scheduling a startup or shutdown.

We don’t know exactly why Apple removed this helpful feature from macOS settings, but if you need this feature, we’ve found a workaround through the Terminal app on your Mac.

Before You Start

Before properly creating a command in Terminal for scheduling power management, you must first understand how “pmset” works and what format it needs.

Generally, you can use the pmset command to manage settings like sleep and wake timers, display sleep and wake timers, system sleep and wake options, and other relevant configurations. You can even use it to enable Power Nap on a Mac if you want.

However, if you’re using it to create a schedule for your Mac’s startup or shutdown, you need to learn the date formats. Pmset uses a 24-hour clock with an HH:MM:SS format and an MM/DD/YY date format. Therefore, a date like February 14, 2023, at 8pm would be coded as 02/14/23 20:00:00.

On the other hand, if you want to choose specific days of the week for your scheduled process, use the following letters appropriately: Monday: M; Tuesday: T; Wednesday: W; Thursday: R; Friday: F; Saturday: S; Sunday: U.

How to Schedule a Startup on Your Mac

Scheduling a startup allows your computer to boot up automatically at predetermined times. This could be useful if you have specific processes that must begin at scheduled times (like backups and maintenance scripts).

Since there’s no option to do this in macOS Ventura’s System Settings, you will have to use Terminal:

  1. Open Terminal using Spotlight search (Command + Space) and hit Return.
  2. If, for example, you want to set your Mac to wake up every day of the week except weekends at 8am, then input the following:
    sudo pmset repeat wakeorpoweron MTWRF 08:00:00
    Terminal command line with wake schedule command

  3. ​​​​​​​Of course, you can change the time to whatever you like, but if you want to set your Mac to wake up on a particular date, for example, on March 1, 2023, at 7am, type:
    sudo pmset schedule wakeorpoweron "03/01/23 07:00:00"
  4. The command will request your admin account password. Input it and hit Return.
  5. There won’t be any confirmation that your code was successful, but you don’t have to worry as long as there are no error messages.

You can use the commands here on any modern version of macOS. But you may not need to on macOS Monterey and older versions, as they have the Energy Saver option in System Preferences. If you’d rather learn how to use that, check out our guide on how to boot up or shut down your Mac automatically.

How to Schedule a Shutdown on Your Mac

Scheduling a shutdown is as important as scheduling a startup. Doing this can help save your MacBook’s battery life, improve security, conserve energy and power consumption, etc.

The way to automatically shut down your Mac is nearly identical to starting it up, except you type the following command in Terminal:

sudo pmset repeat shutdown MTWRF 16:00:00

The above is an example, but you can follow the format to schedule a shutdown on specific days at a preferred time.

Terminal command line with shut down schedule command

​However, if you want to schedule a shutdown on a particular date, let’s say, April 1, 2023, at midnight, use the following command line instead:

sudo pmset schedule shutdown "04/01/23 00:00:00​​​​​​​"

The command lines above request a password because of the sudo command. It means “superuser do,” forcing your Mac to run a command or script with full admin privileges. Because of its high authority, using the command on scripts you’re uncertain of might be dangerous.

How to Schedule a Restart on Your Mac

On the whole, restarting is a tried and tested method of troubleshooting—and not being able to schedule one on your Mac may lower the quality of your experience. Apart from that, scheduling a restart can also boost your Mac’s performance while helping you automatically install updates.

You can refer to the following example and change the input values accordingly to schedule a restart on your Mac using Terminal:

sudo pmset repeat restart MTWRFSU 00:00:00

Terminal command line with restart schedule command

As you can probably tell by now, the above command line will restart the Mac every day at midnight. But, if you want to restart it on February 14, 2023, at 9pm, you should type:

sudo pmset schedule restart "02/14/23 21:00:00"

Other Relevant Power Management Commands

Now you’ve learned how to start up, shut down, and restart your Mac automatically, it’s time to learn some other commands you might need to manage these settings.

How to View the Currently Active Schedule

If you want to view the schedule you currently have, all you have to do is enter the following command:

pmset -g sched

It can be helpful if you want to double-check the schedule you set up.

Terminal command line with view schedule command

How to Clear the Currently Active Schedule

However, if you want to return your Mac to default with no active schedule on, then input this command:

sudo pmset repeat cancel

Like the others, you won’t see any confirmation. But it works as long as there are no error messages. You can also confirm it with the command to view the currently active schedule.

​​​​​​​If Terminal is entirely new to you and you would like to learn more about it, we have all the info you need in our beginner’s guide to using the Mac Terminal.

Use Terminal Till Energy Saver Comes Back

Will the Energy Saver make a comeback in the future? We don’t know, but we certainly hope so. We have no idea why Apple thought removing this feature from System Settings was necessary, but we’re hoping it was a minor oversight mistake that will be fixed in future patches.

However, until then, you will have to make do with using Terminal if you don’t want to downgrade to an older version of macOS. It’s not as convenient, but it gets the job done, and you can enjoy the new features of macOS Ventura while still scheduling your power management.


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