I frequently find myself walking away from my iMac when batch exporting images from Lightroom or rendering video. Before walking away, I want to make sure the computer doesn’t go to sleep and stop exporting/rendering my files. I’m not a big fan of wasting time and nothing is worse than setting 10 videos to render and coming back in the morning to see that only 2 videos were successfully exported, while the rest are still processing.

It’s easy enough to go into the Apple menu on the top left, choose System Preferences, then choose Energy Saver. Drag the sliders to “Never” and exit the System Preferences. Not terribly hard, but then I always forget to switch it back to defaults.

Enter, Caffeine.

I found Caffeine in the Mac App Store and it does one thing really well. It controls the power setting on my Macs with the click of a button. Now when I’m ready to walk away while exporting, I just click on the Caffeine icon on the right of the menu bar. It’ll set the computer to stay awake based on timed presets. By default, I set it to “Indefinitely”. You can set it differently every time by right-clicking on the icon and choosing one of the times.

Just yesterday, I was downloading a file from an FTP server. I knew it would take about 45 mins, so I set the Caffeine timer to 1 hour. This saves my display from staying on all night long and conserves energy as well.Caffeine was available on the Mac App Store, but now is available as freeware. You can download it here.