Waking up in the middle of the night is annoying, and it’s a problem that doesn’t just affect humans. Computers can have restless nights, too, tossing and turning as they turn on for no apparent reason, then go back to sleep after a set period of time.
Besides wasting power, this constant on-off cycle can be a real annoyance (if you sleep near the PC) and can cause problems for both hardware and software. Fortunately, conquering your computer’s sleepless nights is probably easier than you think.
Finding The Problem With The Command Line
Before you start changing settings, it’s a good idea to find out what’s causing the problem. Fortunately, this is easy to do.
Just open the command line (do a Windows search for command line or “cmd”). Then, in the command line interface, type the following.
The last device that woke your computer should show, though there are occasions where this log does not work.
You can also try searching for all devices that could possibly wake your computer.
powercfg –devicequery wake_armed
While this command doesn’t tell you the culprit, it can at least point you right direction, so you waste less time trying to find a solution. However, these commands are only useful if hardware is the source of your trouble.
Turn Off Peripherals That Might Wake Your Computer
You can remove a device’s ability to wake your PC by opening the Device Manager (do a Windows search to find it, or look in the Control Panel). In the Device Manager you’ll find a list of devices. To disable a device’s ability to wake your PC, double click it to open Properties and then go to the Power Management tab. You’ll find an “Allow this device to wake the computer” check box, which you should uncheck.
The most common source of trouble is probably the mouse, which predictably found under the “Mice and other pointing devices” category. Your mouse may or may not be listed by model name, and there may be multiple devices listed if you connected different mice in the past. Finding the right device can be a matter of trial and error.
If you still have problems, go through the Keyboard, Human Interface Device and Universal Serial Bus section, disabling the ability to wake one-by-one. Usually a mouse, keyboard or gamepad is the problem, but you may need to go through multiple devices before you finally find the one causing your computer to wake.
Just remember that if you turn off the ability to wake on everything, you may not be able to wake your PC at all, which also isn’t ideal.
Stop The Network From Waking Your PC
Most motherboards or network adapters include feature called “wake on LAN.” This feature makes it possible to wake a computer via a remote message, and it’s great if you want to remotely access a computer that’s not on all of the time. However, it can sometimes malfunction, or you might have set up a wake on LAN event and then forget about it.
To prevent this feature from waking, you need to return to the Device Manager. This time, though, look under the Network Adapters section. You’ll probably see just one or two if you use your motherboard’s built-in network adapter, but there may be more if you have a network card installed.
Double-click each adapter and uncheck the “Allow this device to wake the computer” setting, then hit OK. Simple!
Turn Off Scheduled Tasks
If you’ve combed through your devices, but still have a problem, your issue may be related to software rather than hardware. Specifically, there may be a program that’s waking your computer to perform a task, or because it’s malfunctioning.
To prevent this, you need to do a Windows search for Power Options. In that menu, click “Change plan settings” next to the power plan you use. In the next menu click “Change advanced power settings.”
Now scroll down until you find the Sleep tree. Expand it, and expand Allow Wake Timers, then change the setting to Disable. This will prevent programs from waking your computer.
Turn Off Scheduled Maintenance In Windows 8
Windows 8 has the ability to wake your computer from sleep in order to install updates to the operating system or run maintenance. If your computer is constantly waking, this probably isn’t the root of the issue, but it may be the cause if your PC wakes rarely.
To fix this, do a Windows search for the Action Center and open it. Click on Maintenance, and then look for the Automatic Maintenance settings. If turned on, you’ll see the menu state “Windows automatically schedules maintenance activities to run on your computer.”
Click “Change maintenance settings” and, in the menu that opens, uncheck “Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time.” Alternatively, you can set maintenance to take place at a time that won’t bother you, such as while you’re at work.
These tips should allow you to find the issue and fix it, but if you know of any other tips or solutions please leave them in the comments. May you – and your computer – sleep well!