OS X Mavericks: Mastering the Power Button

   Posted October 24, 2013 by David Kirk in Apple Mac

dialog box for shutdown a mac

Prior to OS X 10.9, the power button would display the shut down options. Now, the default action of the power button is to just turn off the screen. How can find the restart, sleep, and shut down choices again?

I have been heavily recommending that Apple users upgrade to Mavericks or OS X 10.9. Not only is it free, but it does not seem to contain all the typical bugs found in an initial OS release. With any update a few things will change, and this update is no different. The most common oddity is that the function of the power button on the various Apple laptops has changed. Previously, pressing the power button on my MBP would bring up the familiar power down options such as restart, sleep, and shut down. Now, the power button just turns off the laptop screen.

Although you cannot change the default action of pressing the power button, the old options are still there. To display the power down options within Mavericks just hold the power button. Instead of blacking out the screen, the old familiar options will appear instead.

Remember, that you can always turn off your system by selecting the Sleep, Restart, or Shut Down option under the Apple () menu as well.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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The Conversation

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  • Martin

    So, if holding down the power button for some time brings up the shutdown menu, what will bring about the former function of a prolonged holding down of the power button, namely a hard shutdown (i.e. “pulling the plug”)?

  • Hans-Peter Meinke

    Being used to shut down my Macs by hitting the power button then hitting “Enter” for a decade or so I hate this feature – I name it a bug. Now it takes thinking and a second more to shut down. I hope someone will find a way to restore the old functionality – instead of the new annoying s***.

  • WTF?

    I hate this new behavior, it put my MBA to sleep and disconnects it from internet. I’ve mistakenly pressed the button like 30 times in less than a minute. Really annoying. Is there a way to overwrite power button action or disable it? <– "there's an app for that" ???

  • mr change it goddamned

    Mavericks is the worst upgrade ever. It ships features like cloudchain, a new, non-sortable finder (sort works every 3nd time for me) and a new power-button behavior. If anyone knows how to get rid of this “feature”, please comment.

  • Dylan

    Accidentally press it all the time when I’m trying to press delete now. Puts my computer to sleep in the middle of my work. Worst change ever, at least give us the option to change it back to the shut down options.

    @Martin: I read that holding it for a short period of time brings up the menu, and holding it for 5+ seconds does a hard shutdown. Horrible experience there imo, tons of memorization you have to do. If hard shutdowns were never necessary then great, but they are, Apple, and they always will be.