Sleep mode on Windows is super practical when you want all your windows and apps open the next time you turn on your system. It’s much faster to wake up from compared to hibernation and saves power at the same time. But what if you put your PC to sleep and return hours later to find it woke up from sleep automatically? This tutorial describes a few reasons your Windows 10/11 PC is waking up from sleep on its own and provides a few fixes.
Experiencing battery drain instead? Try our tips to solve the battery drain issue.
1. Disable Wake Timers
A built-in functionality in Windows, these timers can be set to wake your PC up from sleep so that the system can perform an update or maintenance tasks.
These scheduled tasks are usually performed at odd hours when your system is likely to be idle or in sleep mode. If you suspect wake timers are the reason your PC is randomly waking up from sleep, disable them.
- Open Control Panel from the Windows search bar.
- Click on “Power Options.” On Windows 11, you’ll have to go to “System and Security -> Power Options.”
- Select “Change plan settings” beside your selected power plan under “Preferred plans.”
- Click on “Change advanced power settings” on the next screen.
- In the dialog box that opens, expand the “Sleep” option by clicking on the “+” symbol next to it.
- Expand “Allow wake timers” and select “Disable” to get rid of all wake timers. Click “OK” to save the settings.
2. Check Peripheral Devices
Peripherals like your keyboard and mouse can also be behind Windows waking up from sleep. This is especially common in the case of wireless mice that can get triggered accidentally with the slightest movement.
Though the functionality to wake up your system with your keyboard and mouse is useful (if you don’t want to keep pressing the power button), it can often cause accidental startups.
The next time your PC wakes up from sleep without your knowledge, you can find out what caused it by using the following procedure:
- Type “Command Prompt” in the Windows search bar and click “Run as administrator.”
- Type the command
powercfg/lastwakeand hit Enter.
- You will see the device or program that woke up your computer. More often than not, you will see your mouse, keyboard, or network adapter listed in the result.
- If you want to disable your mouse and keyboard from waking up your computer from sleep, open File Explorer and go to “This PC.”
- Right-click anywhere in the white space and click “Properties.”
- Select “Device Manager” on the left. On Windows 11, scroll all the way down to find the option or press Win + X and click on “Device Manager.”
- From the list of devices, expand the “Mice and other pointing devices” category or “Human Interface Devices” category, then right-click on your keyboard or mouse (as applicable) and select “Properties.”
- In the “Power Management” tab, uncheck “Allow this device to wake the computer.” Click “OK” to save the settings.
Tip: learn how to install unsigned drivers in Windows.
3. Adjust Network Adapters
Your network adapter, if pinged, can wake your computer even if it’s in sleep mode. To stop the device from waking up your system, start by accessing its properties in the Device Manager as shown in the previous section.
- Expand “Network Adapters,” right-click the entry with the manufacturer’s name (usually Realtek or Broadcom), and select “Properties.”
- Select the “Power Management” tab and uncheck the box for “Allow this device to wake the computer.”
- Switch to the Advanced tab and scroll down to “Wake on Magic Packet” in the Property menu.
- Select “Disabled” in the Value list on the right. Hit “OK” to save.
4. Tweak the Registry
Sometimes your PC’s registry settings can prevent it from going to sleep completely. To resolve this, access a certain property in the Registry Editor and confirm with its value set as “one.”
- Type “Registry Editor” in the Windows search bar and click “Run as administrator.”
- Locate the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon” path.
- Double-click on the “PowerdownAfterShutdown” entry on the right to access its Properties.
- Change its value to “1” if it’s set to “0.”
- If you don’t find any entry named “PowerdownAfterShutdown,” create one by right-clicking anywhere in the white space on the right and selecting “New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.”
- Set its value to “1” via Properties.
Tip: you can clean up your Windows registry using one of these methods.
5. Disable Windows Maintenance Schedule
Windows regularly runs update and maintenance tasks, such as checking whether your system needs defragmentation, looking for disk errors, running diagnostics, or simply installing Windows updates. These tasks can wake up your PC from sleep if the corresponding option is turned on.
If you don’t want Windows running these maintenance tasks automatically (you should still run them yourself now and then), follow the steps below:
- Open Control Panel and select “Security and Maintenance.” Windows 11 users should go to “System and Security -> Security and Maintenance.”
- Expand “Maintenance” and select “Change maintenance settings.”
- On the next screen, uncheck the box next to “Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time.” You can also choose a more suitable time to run automatic maintenance, such as during the day when you’re using your system.
6. Disable Automatic Restart
Automatic restart reboots your system in case of a system crash or failure. This is not an issue when it happens during regular usage. But in sleep mode, this will reboot your system and wake up your display. To avoid this, disable the option:
- Open Control Panel and select “System.”
- Click on “Advanced system settings.” On Windows 11, select “System & Security -> System -> Advanced system settings.”
- This will open the “System Properties” window. Click on “Settings” under “Startup and Recovery.”
- Uncheck the box next to “Automatically restart” and select “OK.”
7. Install Latest Spotify Version
One of the older versions of Spotify used to wake up Windows from sleep automatically. Though it was fixed in later versions, your system could still be running on the faulty version.
It’s advisable to remove the previous version and install the latest one from Spotify’s official website.
Trying out these fixes can help you narrow down the reason your PC may be waking up automatically. If your system isn’t booting at all, check out our guide on what to do if Windows fails to start.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hybrid Sleep?
Hybrid Sleep is a sleep state that combines “Hibernate” and “Sleep.” Hybrid Sleep saves all your open applications to the disk – like hibernate – but also goes into a low-power state like the sleep state. The option is not available on every PC, but if your Windows 10/11 system supports it, you should be able to find it under “Power options -> Change when the computer sleeps -> Change advanced power settings.”
How often should I shut down my PC?
While putting your PC to sleep is convenient, turning it off once a week is advisable. This returns your processor and RAM to their bootup state and can increase the system’s performance.
Is it safe to turn off automatic Windows updates?
Turning off automatic Windows updates prevents your system from waking up at odd hours. As long as you’re manually downloading and installing the most critical system updates once in a while, turning off automatic updates is perfectly safe.
Image credit: Nakul via Unsplash. All screenshots by Tanveer Singh.
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox