Hibernate File Issue with MacBook 2012 Update

Seems that the list of annoyances I have to deal with after each and every OS X update just grown a bit. Besides the usual

chflags nohidden ~/Library

command that unhides the Library folder, now I have to do some extra work to reclaim the space normally occupied by the hibernate file (/var/vm/sleepimage). I do not use hibernation on my notebooks. I shut them down when I finished. I prefer to start with clean state on every boot, but equally I’m not fond of wasting 17 gigabytes of expensive SSD space on a file that I never use.

In the past you could turn off hibernation with

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

But after today’s release of “Update 2.0 for all Mac notebooks introduced in June 2012”, I had to do some extra work. The issue is: regardless of the state of the hibernatemode switch, the hibernate file (stored in /var/vm/sleepimage) is recreated on every boot. Bummer.

Fortunately you can also set the location of the file, so all I had to do is to send it into a black hole:

sudo pmset -a hibernatefile /dev/null

Everything works fine with this setup, but I fear that the next update could bring some more surprises…

This site is made possible by the people downloading my apps - thank you all! I neither beg you to purchase goods through my site nor display advertisements, but if you find my writings useful or entertaining, I would encourage you to check out my tools that may make your life as a photographer or cinematographer easier and more productive.


  1. Neal Elward says:

    Thanks for the tip! I was reluctant to try this, but I’ll give it a shot now.

    Not only does the file get recreated, but the hibernatemode flag is not actually respected, either. I put my MacBook Pro to sleep every night, and it now goes into hibernation even though I did a `pmset -a hibernatemode 0`. Hopefully this won’t cause a horrible failure when it tries to hibernate.

  2. Thanks sooooo much for this!
    I tried to fix this for hours, event called the support about this. After more than 3 hours I had spoken to 5 different guys and no one was able to tell me how I could get my space back.
    Thanks again!
    If ever you find out any “more elegant” solutions, please let me know (or what this issue is caused by)!

Speak Your Mind


Prove that you are human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.