Mac – Do I need to power off the Macbook Pro during commute between home and office

macbook

I typically drive less-than-20-minute of local roads between my home and office, during which I usually keep my Macbook Pro closed but powered on and in a backpack in back seat. Is it harmful to its hardware? If so, how and how much harmful?

I am trying to decide if it's worthwhile to take a few minutes to power it off properly daily before leaving office or doing it is virtually meaningless.

Best Answer

  • Short answer: No, it's fine, don't spend another mental cycle on this.

    .... and now, a long, rambling answer...

    Do I need to power off my Macbook Pro during commute between home and office? Either approach is fine. Obviously being suspended will consume battery power slowly (very very slowly). If you're going to run on battery for a while at home too, then the power cost of shutting down and booting up may end up being more than being suspended.

    Is it harmful to its hardware? If so, how and how much harmful? Apple encourages people to use their machines like that. It could only be harmful if the machine is being woken up (and thus spins up the hard drive while the machine is being vibrated hard). Anything that would generally damage the machine in a suspended-state would also damage it in an off-state. Unless you're doing something really weird, it's not harmful.

    I am trying to decide if it's worthwhile to take a few minutes to power it off properly daily before leaving office or doing it is virtually meaningless. I think it's a serious waste of your time to power-off. I think it also provides unnecessary (though trivial) wear-and-tear on your hard drive.

    Ultimately, the practical difference is so superficial that you may as well just do whatever you 'feel' is best. If you're in constant fear of zombie apocalypses (like me), then you may be happy to know that your laptop in its powered-off state may end up having enough juice left in it, that when some survivor takes it from your corpse, they may manage to use it enough to solve some key problem and save humanity.. All because you left the machine in a state that left the battery charged. Not that you'd ever get props for it. If you're like me, however, you'll just suspend the machine and let the rest of the human race fall with you.

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