Caffeine for Mac

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 1.1.3
  • 4
  • (238)
  • Security Status

Softonic review

Kristina Schulz
Kristina SchulzUpdated 2 months ago

Free sleep prevention Mac application

Caffeine is a free utility software that prevents Apple Mac operating systems from displaying the screen saver and going to sleep. The Lighthead software company team members are the developers that published the freeware in December of 2010. The application is represented by a coffee cup icon that is within the right side of the upper menu bar.

What is Caffeine on Mac?

The platform gives people a sense of security as the screen will not go to sleep unless the preferred amount of allotted time has ended. The Caffeine community does not need to go to the energy saver location inside of the ‘System Preferences’ on the Mac desktop to modify the settings.

This model is useful for people that would like to watch a movie or YouTube video as they do not need to tap the mouse or trackpad to wake up the screensaver. This works well to keep the Macbook active while performing download tasks, video conferences, etc.

The tiny program is lightweight and installs instantly due to the minimum amount of storage space that is required with the utility tool. The aesthetic appearance of the app is appealing. The using ratings and reviews on the program are positive and addictive in nature: similar to the qualities of a cup of coffee.

How do I add Caffeine to my Mac?

Upon the installation process, the platform will appear in the download folder in the Safari browser, which is located in the upper right corner within a downward-facing arrow inside a circle. Open the button and click on the magnifying glass alongside ‘Caffeine’ or double click on the text; this will bring the user to the ‘Downloads’ window.

Since macOS systems are relatively secure frameworks, there may be a notification that appears to inform people that the tool was retrieved from the internet. After confirming with the computer or laptop that Caffeine can be opened, the next measure to take may be to navigate to the ‘System Preferences’ resource. Locate and enter into ‘Security & Privacy’ in the upper section of the window.

Within ‘General’, there will be a segment in the lower part of the tab: ‘Allow apps downloaded from’. Choose the ‘Open Anyway’ option next to the Caffeine notice. Once the users allow the continuation of the installation to take place, they will be greeted by a welcome screen that can be considered as the setting page.

People can select and deselect options: ‘Automatically start Caffeine at login’, ‘Activate Caffeine at launch’, and ‘Show this message when starting Caffeine’. These options can be partially or completely selected and deselected. By having all of the possibilities marked, the tool will be presented and actuated in the upper right corner of the menu bar along with the welcome interface shown within the starting screen.

How do I keep my Mac screen awake?

Caffeine allows users to easily inhibit the screen from becoming dim or presenting an image by keeping their display lit. By clicking the coffee icon, the computer is set to stay on until another click turns the app off.

A visual representation of the platform being active is that there will be coffee and steam coming from inside of the mug. When the mug is empty, then the tool is not operating. Upon tapping the icon, the aesthetic alteration between the two appearances is instant. Clicking on the picture initiates the predetermined settings to begin or close.

To edit the preferences, right-click with the mouse or trackpad on the cup symbol. A concise menu will appear: ‘About Caffeine’, ‘Preferences…’, ‘Activate for’, and ‘Quit’. By choosing ‘About Caffeine’ a little window will be presented.

This interface will display the title, version, and a brief synopsis of the framework’s functionality. This area gives credit to the illustrators of both the application graphic and the menu bar emblem. A direct link to the Lighthead website is accessible here. The option ‘Preferences…’ in the succinct menu will bring up the welcome frame.

There are keyboard shortcuts provided in this segment along with the ability to modify the ‘Default duration’ time. A dropdown menu will provide options: ‘Indefinitely’ along with 5, 10, 15, and 30 minutes as well as 1, 2, and 5 hours. By choosing ‘Indefinitely’, people can prevent their Mac OS X equipment from ever dimming. Disabling this feature is recommended to preserve the machine’s battery.

Within the mini menu, the time periods are the same as the choices within the welcome section. The intervals are more accessible in the upper menu bar than in the ‘Preferences…’ section.

To change the allocated amount of time that the computer is awake for, right-click and navigate down to ‘Activate for’ to invoke the context menu with the different periods. If ‘Indefinitely’ is chosen, then be sure to turn that off when the preference is not needed anymore to preserve Mac’s life.

The best alternatives

Amphetamine, Coffee Buzz, Don’t Sleep, Insomnia X, KeepingYouAwake, Lungo, Theine 3, and the Caffeine alternatives for Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems are comparative software. A multitude of the aforementioned apps was inspired by Caffeine for Mac; the alternatives provide similar user experiences to the original version.

Due to the developers basing their new products on the concept of a completed one, there are advantageous features embedded in them: more options, better appearances, etc. Theine 3 is available on Mac operating systems and provides an interactive UX while remaining compact.

Simple sleep prevention utility

People love the Caffeine for Mac app to inhibit the desktop from dimming the display; this puts ease into the processes of doing professional presentations, reading recipes while cooking, monitoring progress on lengthy procedures, etc. Enabling and disabling the tech is intuitive: all that is required is a simple tap.

Specific updates to the software are sparingly given as the latest update is relatively the same as the first release. Regardless, the program has received great news and user reviews since the beginning.


  • Lightweight
  • Intuitive to use
  • Attractive design
  • Access energy settings promptly
  • Doesn’t require a lot of running power


  • Not available for iPhone and iPad

Older versions

Program available in other languages

Caffeine for Mac

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 1.1.3
  • 4
  • (238)
  • Security Status

User reviews about Caffeine

  • Wendy Williams

    by Wendy Williams

    I loved Caffeine and have used it consistently but during the last few months it has stopped working. I am so disappointed. Checked in to make sure  More

  • Kelly Turek

    by Kelly Turek

    I absolutely love this app. It was amazing through law school, and the adorable cup of joe was the icing. But you you guys didnt optimize it for the n More

  • Kelley Kromhout

    by Kelley Kromhout

    So nice to use when you need your screen to stay active without constantly messing with settings. I leave my screen on display for about five minutes  More

  • Manuel Carvajal

    by Manuel Carvajal

    Caffeine quitting unexpectedly.
    It's quitting unexpectedly every time I open my Mac (a 2016 TouchBar Mac Book Pro)

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Adults only.
    big side effects. for weeks, i am trying to find out why my Mac Air doesnt go into sleep :) I totally forgot about it. Recommend t More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Rgee no sleep with Caffeine.
    I like Caffeine, it is simple to use and does what it is supposed to do, keep my computer awake, I do a lot of read More


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Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.