Disable the Sudden Motion Sensor on a Mac

When I first got my 2010 MacBook Pro, I constantly heard this clicking noise whenever I’m using my MBP in bed or when it’s on my lap. I found out that it was the feature of the MacBook Pro called “Sudden Motion Sensor” – it is designed and patented by Apple as a data protection system to protect the notebook’s hard drive in the event that the device has been dropped or very strong vibrations. 

I found this feature quite annoying however and almost unsettling so I searched for ways to disable it. Please note that the Sudden Motion Sensor feature is useless for me as I’ve replaced the original internal hard drive with a Solid state drive which has no moving parts.

Disable the Sudden Motion Sensor on a Mac

  1. Launch Terminal
  2. Type the following at the command line: sudo pmset -a sms 0
  3. Enter your Password
  4. Hit Enter

Congratulations, you’re Done!!! Easy right?

If for whatever reason you decide to return to using a mechanical hard drive, you can enable this feature again.

Enable the Sudden Motion Sensor on a Mac

  1. Launch Terminal
  2. Type the following at the command line: sudo pmset -a sms 1
  3. Enter your Password
  4. Hit Enter

To verify that SMS is On or Off

  1. Launch Terminal
  2. Type the following at the command line: sudo pmset -g
  3. Enter your Password
  4. Hit Enter

 

As you can see on the screenshot, sms has a value of “0” which means it’s OFF, “1” would mean the SMS feature is ON.

Hope that helps

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