Unknown Activity Wakes Computer

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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Bob Wiswell
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Unknown Activity Wakes Computer

Post by Bob Wiswell » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:20 am

When I finish using my iMac desktop, in the evening, I put it to sleep. At approx. 8:40 PM it wakes up. How do I find what is waking up the computer? I know there is an activity log (somewhere), but when I have looked at it in the past I have never been able to understand what it is telling me. Now, I have also forgotten how to access the activity log/file.

I am running OSX 10.6.8, Snow Leopard. I know it is old but I cannot go higher. My laptop, which runs the same Snow Leopard is not waking up. There is something unique happening within the iMac.

Any help will be appreciated.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Unknown Activity Wakes Computer

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:09 pm

A number of things can wake a Mac, depending on your settings. In System Preferences > Energy Saver, you can select to have your Mac wake for network activity, for example. If you have a local network set up, being connected to another Mac can affect sleep (if the other Mac is showing in your Finder).

Viewing logs is, indeed, confusing. The way is to start the application Console. But there are many categories of events.

If the Mac is waking at the same time, check to see if Energy Saver or some other app is set to do something at that time.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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jhaney54
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Re: Unknown Activity Wakes Computer

Post by jhaney54 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:14 pm

After your iMac wakes up, does it go back to sleep by itself in a minute or two?

I had this issue and the way I solved it was to turn off "Wake for network access" in the Energy Saver preference. Looking at the logs showed that my Airport Extreme router was waking up my Mac periodically. The Mac then would go back to sleep in a minute or two.

You could also check to see if the Energy Saver preference is scheduled to start up your iMac. Click the schedule button in Energy Saver to see if you've scheduled a wakeup.

To view system logs, start the Console application. The left side of the pane shows the various logs available for view and the events contained in the logs appear in the right pane. I can't remember which log I used to discover the source of the problem. I would start by single clicking the system.log in the left pane and scroll the right pane to the time your iMac is waking up from sleep.

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Bob Wiswell
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Re: Unknown Activity Wakes Computer

Post by Bob Wiswell » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:59 pm

Thanks jhaney54. Yes the iMac does go back to sleep after waking up.

I checked my Energy Saver Preference and the wake for network access was not checked to be on and nothing was entered for a scheduled wake up; everything was grayed out. I checked the entries and I could enter scheduled events. I just deleted everything and let it go back to being grayed out-nothing scheduled.

Your clue of checking the system.log in Console may have solved, or answered the problem. I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of activity related to Google network and Google Earth things. The times didn't always match what I was observing, but just the magnitude of the entries caught my attention. I remembered that I recently selected Google Chome as my default browser on this computer. I have since gone back and have Safari as my default browser and I haven't noticed the computer waking up anymore! This also explains why I haven't noticed this wake up going on with my laptop computer; I did not change the default browser from Safari on it.

I will follow up later if the problem doesn't stay fixed. THANK YOU!

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Unknown Activity Wakes Computer

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:56 am

You may have discovered the issue. If I remember correctly, Google software autoupdates by default. So Chrome may be checking for updates. There was some kerfuffle about Google Earth doing that a couple of years back, but I don't remember what the result was.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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