I have a crontab that works as expected when my mac is awake but seems not to run when the mac is asleep even though I've scheduled the it to wake up a few minutes before it's supposed to run. In the crontab I've forwarded the output and errors so I can see if anything is failing, but these are also not updated so I gather the script isn't running at all. I know the scheduled start up only works if the mac is charging so I've had it charging over night (which seems bad for the battery) and still nothing... Any ideas what might be happening or what I can change? Thanks so much!


  • I had previously it scheduled to wake up 5 minutes before the job was to be run. I changed that to 1 minute before and it still didn't go through.
  • As for how I'm waking it up, I just went to System Preferences -> Battery -> Schedule and clicked "Start or wake up" (every day)—see image below. I'm not sure exactly what state it returns to or whether there's a way to configure that (sorry, newbie here).

enter image description here

  • Presumably it woke up, and went to sleep again, before the crontab ran (you say minutes). Jun 21, 2021 at 2:07
  • How are you "waking up" the system? Is it returning to a fully operational state? Is it going back to sleep before the cron job runs? Provide more detail/information in your question (edit it, do not simply reply in comments).
    – C. M.
    Jun 22, 2021 at 8:46
  • @C.M. made those edits. I'm not sure what state it returns to (or how to figure that out, honestly)
    – dfried
    Jun 22, 2021 at 17:43
  • Next time at 0858, sit down with you morning coffee, and watch what it does... For a cron job to execute, you will need the system in a running state to process the cron job...
    – C. M.
    Jun 23, 2021 at 2:08
  • Could you elaborate on what a "running state" means? Thanks
    – dfried
    Jun 23, 2021 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


I was able to get it this to work using pmset. Specifically, I just ran the line pmset repeat wakeorpoweron MTWRFSU 08:59:00!

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