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Sleep Your Mac by Email

Smart FolderMurphy picked this tip up from Tim Margh last year and has been using it ever since. The Snippet shows how to configure your Mac to watch for emails matching certain criteria, like a particular subject. When the message comes in your Mac goes off to sleepyland. You could use this technique to have your Mac do other things as well. Perhaps more interesting things.

Some people will say this is stupid, you can simply set your Mac to sleep after x minutes. First of all, that’s no fun. Second, some people don’t want their Mac going to sleep on a timer. Ever.

On occasion Murphy wakes his Mac up remotely and connects with VNC. Sometimes he disconnects without putting the machine back to sleep. Instead of logging back in he just fires off a magic email.

You’ll need to download one file to try this yourself, straight from Apple’s site. It’s a sleeper action for Automator. Run the installer that comes in the dmg. The rest is all built-in.

So click Watch Now to view the screencast as Murphy acts out Tim’s tip. By the way, he uses text messages to sleep his Mac!
ps: Your Mac needs to be turned on, and Mail needs to be running.

Update: What about Windows? You can easily reboot Windows by email. Watch this to see how.

Note: Some readers have pointed out that you can do this whole thing in AppleScript. That’s true. But by using both Automator and AppleScript we’ve shown that you can kick off anything those two technologies can do – by email. Or text message for that matter.

Click for more ways to control your Mac by email.

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