Putting your PC to sleep is a great way to save energy while still making sure you can resume without wasting power. But what can you do if your PC keeps waking up or goes to sleep automatically? With so many factors coming into play, it’s a difficult problem to diagnose.
The procedure gets complicated with different PC manufacturers. The best way to tackle this problem is to try a variety of different solutions. We’ll list out the troubleshooting steps and show you how to fix sleep mode-related issues in Windows 10.
Check Your Sleep Mode Settings
When your computer doesn’t go to sleep, check all your settings that can prevent a sleep state. The hardware, power options, and configuration can affect the way power and sleep buttons work. If your PC has windows updates installed or an installed app requires a restart, then your PC may not sleep at all.
If you’re working on a shared computer or a PC that doesn’t belong to you, there’s a chance that someone else might have tweaked the power options.
Open the Settings app. Click System, then choose Power & sleep. In the far right, click Additional power settings. From the window that appears, click Choose when to turn off the display.
Just to the right side of Put the computer to sleep, check the values to make sure they are set up properly. If your PC sleeps too soon or takes too long to go to sleep, this should be your first port of call.
Take a look at the advanced power settings as well. Click Change advanced power settings, then expand each section to verify if sleep is allowed on each (none of them should say “Never”). The “Turn off hard disk after” option, for instance, should have a lower time limit than your sleep settings.
The most common culprit by far is “USB selective suspend setting.” If this is set to “Disabled,” any connected peripheral device will constantly ping your system to let it know they’re active, thus keeping it awake.
Disable Fast Startup for Old Machines
Windows 10 Fast Startup feature is a setting that helps your PC start up faster after shutdown. It does this by saving an image of the kernel and loaded drivers to the C:hiberfil.sys upon shutdown. Then, when you shut down and restart your PC, Windows loads the hibernation file into the memory to resume your PC.
If you use an old computer and notice that your PC will not sleep, you can disable Fast Startup. Open the Settings app. Click System, then choose Power & sleep. In the far right, click Additional power settings. From the window that appears, click Choose what the power buttons do.
Click Change settings that are currently unavailable and uncheck Turn on Fast Startup to disable this feature.
What to Do if Your PC Won’t Go to Sleep
Sleep mode can save your monitor from burn-in and prevent your PC from wasting its battery life. As such, when your Windows 10 PC doesn’t go to sleep, it can cause general instability, reduced power efficiency, frequent kernel hangs, and crashes.
Check Your System Drivers
Check if your drivers are up-to-date. The most important ones are chipset drivers, network, audio, and BIOS drivers. It’s also a good idea to ensure that you’re running the latest version of Windows 10.
Your first port of call is to check how recent each of your system drivers is. Download the DriverView utility from Nirsoft. Check the version number, installation date, created or modified date, and the digital signature of the drivers.
Once you’ve identified some potential culprits, it’s time to update their drivers. Windows will automatically update your drivers via Windows Update. Open Settings > Update & Security, then under Windows Update, click View optional updates. Choose a driver you want to update.
It’s the safest method because Microsoft verifies the driver for your system, but if you need reassurance, check the manufacturer’s website instead.
You can also update your drivers through the Device Manager. Right-click a driver and select Update driver.
If Windows 10 doesn’t find the drivers, check the driver manufacturer’s website. Most PC manufacturers have a support website that lists all the compatible drivers with the version number. Bookmark the site and check for any driver updates periodically.
Never download third-party apps that claim to update drivers. Their sources are questionable and can make your system unstable.
Check for Power Requests
The drivers and software installed on your PC might interfere with sleep mode by sending power requests that keep the system awake. To see the log of all power requests in Windows 10, press the Windows key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin). Type in the following command:
This will present a list of active power requests. All categories should theoretically be empty. If they’re not, make a note of what is prompting the power request.
In the screenshot, you’ll see that a “Caller_type” with process “synergyc.exe” and “request” type as “SYSTEM” is preventing the PC from entering sleep mode.
To solve this problem, you can add a request override for this process:
powercfg -requestsoverride <CALLER_TYPE>“<NAME>”<REQUEST>
powercfg -requestsoverride PROCESS “synergyc.exe” SYSTEM
Check for Last Wake Events
If your PC is waking from sleep unexpectedly and you want to know which device triggered the wake-up event, then use the following command:
To see the list of devices that wake up the system, type in:
powercfg -devicequery wake_armed
In the screenshot, you’ll see that the Ethernet adapter is causing the PC to wake up from sleep accidentally.
Open the network adapter driver in Device Manager, right-click the driver, and choose Properties.
In the Power Management tab, uncheck Allow this device to wake the computer. Optionally, you can leave this option enabled and check the option Only allow a magic packet to wake the computer to prevent everything except Wake-On-Lan packets from waking up your PC.
Run the Power Troubleshooter
There are chances that you might have tweaked and customized your power plan settings for multiple tasks in the past. Unfortunately, these tweaks can sometimes result in sleep-related problems.
Power troubleshooter fixes the sleep-related problems by resetting the settings and telling you how to avoid them in the future.
Go to Settings > Update & Security and click Troubleshoot. Then, click Additional Troubleshooter. Finally, scroll down and click Power to launch Power troubleshooter.
Once the procedure is complete, you can view the detailed information of all potential issues and their solutions.
Check the Compatibility of Attached Devices
A device connected to your PC may not be compatible with the latest version of Windows 10. This is because some manufacturers release updates before they’re compatible with the newer version of Windows. Common culprits include printers, scanners, gaming consoles, webcams, and more.
Go to the manufacturer’s website and check for any compatibility issues. If there aren’t any, unplug the device and check to see if the sleep problem persists.
Restart Your PC in Safe Mode
Sleep mode problems are often caused due to a complication between the hardware and software during startup. To check whether this is the case, restart your PC in Windows 10 Safe Mode and see whether it can go to sleep. If it can, you’ll need to perform a clean boot to narrow down the fault.
Press the Windows key + X and choose Run. Then, type in msconfig to launch System Configuration. Next, click the Services tab, check Hide all Microsoft services and select Disable all. This will ensure that only essential services will run.
In the next step, open Task Manager and disable every app set to launch at startup. Quit both System Configuration and Task Manager. Restart your PC. If your PC can enter the sleep mode, that means an app or process is causing the problem.
What to Do if Your PC Goes to Sleep Without Permission
If your PC goes to sleep after a brief period of inactivity, you run the risk of losing your work in the middle of the task. This type of problem can be even more infuriating than a PC showing signs of insomnia. But it is easy to fix.
Confirm That Your PC Is Sleeping
When your PC goes to sleep randomly, ensure that the machine has entered sleep mode. Sometimes the cause of random hibernation/shutdown is overheating.
If the internal temperature reaches a level above the threshold, your PC will either enter hibernation mode or shut down to protect the hardware components. Check out these apps on how to monitor the temperature of your PC.
Restore Your PC’s Default Power Plan
If you have just upgraded your PC to Windows 10 or did a major update, then specific power-related settings might get corrupt. To fix this problem, open Settings > System. Then, under Power & sleep settings, click Additional power settings.
From here, select Choose when to turn off the display. Select Restore default settings for this plan.
Check Your Screensaver Settings
A screensaver utility allows your PC to go into a sleep state to preserve energy. However, your PC might go to sleep at random if you set up the screensaver incorrectly.
Head to Settings > Personalization and type in screen saver in the search bar.
From the popup window that appears, choose None from the Screen saver dropdown menu.
Disable Any Third-Party Themes
Many third-party themes are available from the Microsoft Store. It is possible that a theme can cause your PC to sleep at random times. You can disable the theme and switch back to the default theme.
Head to Settings > Personalization and click Themes. Now click the default Windows 10 theme and restart your PC.
Remove the Battery
If all the above methods fail, and you’re working with a laptop, your battery might be the culprit. Shut down your PC and remove the battery. Wait for a few moments and re-insert it. If the battery is not removable, then you might want to monitor the battery stats and replace them when needed.
Check the Health of Your Windows PC
If your PC won’t go to sleep or sleeps at random times, use these troubleshooting steps to fix your problem. However, you must remember that some PC manufacturer includes their custom apps and drivers. These are known to cause sleep mode issues in Windows 10 PC.
Apart from these troubleshooting tips, you can periodically check your PC’s health to keep it in top shape. For example, you can run the “SleepStudy” command to assess your battery health and take care of your PC’s health.
Image Credit: scanrail/Depositphotos
Use these Windows 10 health reports to see how your hardware is performing and spot any issues.
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