OS X 10.9.1 can’t come fast enough for Mavericks users having problems with some of the new features implemented by Apple this year, but there’s no guarantee it will fix the behavior of a Power button function which puts the Mac to sleep when accidentally pressed.
A few forums and a Reddit thread are actively discussing the issue. It affects owners of new-generation MacBooks whose power buttons are no longer embedded in the aluminum casing, but in the keyboard itself, on the top right-hand side (replacing the old Eject key).
Some people hit that key accidentally on a regular basis. And they’re frustrated because Apple implemented a new behavior for said key in OS X Mavericks.
Support document HT5869 on Apple.com confirms that “OS X Mavericks updates the power button behavior on Mac computers.”
Apple notes in the KB article that if you quickly tap the button once, your Mac will go to sleep.
Previously (in OS X Mountain Lion, for example), hitting this button once would bring up a dialog asking you to choose one of several options (Sleep, Shut Down, Restart). That’s no longer the case in OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks.
“Press the power button for less than a half a second to sleep or wake your Mac. This duration is similar to pressing the Space bar or Return key to wake your Mac. The power button works this way across all Macs using OS X Mavericks, including both notebook and desktop computers,” according to the Cupertino giant.
As before, pressing and holding the power button for 1.5 seconds will bring up the aforementioned dialog with options for shutting down the Mac, and others. However, this is of little help to users who accidentally hit the button for less than a second during their typing.
It isn’t clear if Apple will revert the functionality of the Power button (or even if it intends to do so), but some are hoping this issue will be addressed in a future software update.