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Chapter 4. Keys & the Keyboard > Power Key Power Button

Power Key Power Button

The Power key might be an actual key on the keyboard, or it might be a round or oblong Power button embossed or printed with a left-pointing arrow or the standard power symbol (both shown to the right). It you have one on your keyboard, it’s at the top-center of some keyboards and at the upper-right in others. Various models of iMacs also have a Power button on the monitor. Some of the newest keyboards do not have either a Power key or button on the keyboard itself—you have to use the button on the case or the monitor. A Power key on the keyboard makes it very easy for your cat or your small child to turn on your Mac when you least expect it.


The Power button or key will also shut down your Mac, or on some models you can set the Power button to put the Mac to sleep (check your Energy Saver preferences, Chapter 22). If you have a Mac tower with the Power button on the tower, you might have to hold the button in to the count of five to turn off the machine (or use “Shut Down” from the Apple menu).

If you have cats and kids swarming around your house, you might find your computer turning on or off at odd times. Fortunately, you do get a warning beep asking if you really want to shut down, and even if the cat steps on the Return key (which chooses “Okay” to shut down), the Mac will save any files that were left open before it turns itself off. See Chapter 19 for more details about shutting down your computer.

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