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Skill Level: Beginner
Restarting or shutting your Mac down regularly to clear its cache and RAM is good practice to keep it running at its fastest. And powering down while you’re away is also good way to conserve power.
Navigate to the Mac toolbar button > System Preferences > Energy Saver menu. From there you can set up the Mac to shut itself down and turn itself back on automatically via the Schedule button. Checking the box next to the Sleep button in the pop-up window will allow you to change that preference to schedule a Restart or Shut Down instead.
If you work from 9 to 5, for example, you can set the office Mac to turn itself on at 8:45 a.m. and shut itself down at 5:30 p.m.—an arrangement that conserves electricity, saves money, and reduces pollution, but doesn’t inconvenience you in the least. In fact, you may come to forget that you’ve set up the Mac this way, since you’ll never actually see it turn itself off.
Note: The Mac doesn’t shut down automatically if you’ve left unsaved documents open onscreen. It will go to sleep, though.
Excerpted with permission from David Pogue’s OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual from O’Reilly Media.