Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

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

powercmdline

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 10 Windows Command Line Tips You Should Check Out 10 Windows Command Line Tips You Should Check Out Read More (do a Windows search for command line or “cmd”). Then, in the command line interface, type the following.

powercfg –lastwake

The last device that woke your computer should show, though there are occasions where this log does not work.

Ads by Google

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.

powermouse

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.

powerdevicemanager

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 How To Setup Wake On LAN Using The MAC Address How To Setup Wake On LAN Using The MAC Address Read More .” 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.

powerdevicemanager2

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.

powermanagement2

To prevent this, you need to do a Windows search for Power Options Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained When Windows 7 launched, one of Microsoft's selling points was that it was designed to help your battery last longer. One of the main features users will actually notice is that the screen dims before... Read More . 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.

Windows 8 Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Conclusion

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!

  1. kayaker611
    May 5, 2016 at 4:31 am

    Few years ago I had a PC waking itself late every night, and my ISP repeatedly contacted me saying I was sending out a lot of robot spam. Malware detecting software could not find it. Eventually I suspected a downloaded program, deleted it, and the problem was solved. Looks like I had picked up some malware. So consider malware as another possible cause if nothing else fixes it.

  2. n13L5
    May 1, 2016 at 7:39 am

    All my settings have wake disabled as per someone else's list that matched your's.

    Still, it will wake up 45 seconds after I hybernate it to put it in my backpack (its a laptop I travel with, and I really need the damned thing to stay off when I hybernate it.

    Windows 8.1

    There are some external USB devices (which aren't plugged in when the problem occurs), where the check box under power options, to enable/disable to wake the computer is neither empty nor checked, it shows in grey and I clicking it has no effect.

  3. jq
    April 19, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Awsome! Thanks for these great hints!

  4. seanivo
    March 26, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I also found that MollieSoft WinSleep program will put the computer BACK to sleep after it wakes up for whatever reason - as soon as it becomes sufficiently idle again.

  5. vogey04
    March 20, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Thanks for the great article!

    I used the mouse method, the network method, and the scheduled tasks method all at once. One of them fixed the problem! Much appreciated!

  6. seanivo
    March 15, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    One thing that might help is the pgm WinSleep from MollieSoft - http://www.molliesoft.com/winsleep - it has a timeline that shows you exactly when the computer is waking from sleep! So you can figure out what might be doing it...

  7. Terry Hingston
    February 10, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Whoever makes programs to wake up people's computers should be SHOT.
    Why the hell would i want someone to make my computer default wake from sleep in the middle of the night, and install updates then leave my computer on for the next 6 hours, wasting a few dollars worth of power etc.
    Do you think they would be happy to pay me back for the money for the power?
    Thanks for the article

  8. Thomas
    December 24, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    I did this fix and it worked. Now a recent Windows 10 update hit and I had to do it again. I only had to change the network adapter wake properties the second time though so I think that is what is waking computers. Thanks Windows 10!

  9. Tony Ha
    September 25, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    I done all the above, but Windows 10 still ramdomly wake from sleep mode or hibernation mode. Why Windows 10 do not has a button say "sleep until press the power button" mode?

    • Tracey Magee
      October 8, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      I'm having the exact same problems as you. I have tried everything above also. It worked for awhile but now its waking up right after I put it to sleep, I was even using hibernate and that isnt working right now either. I notice it does this just after Ive done a windows 10 update.

    • Virtual Insanity
      October 11, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      I had the same issue, turned out in Win10 joysticks and joystick like devices can wake the computer, or stop it from sleeping.
      Also Joysticks do not show up in the powercfg commands.

      Hope this info helps.

  10. Ken E.
    February 3, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Get Linux, and take control back over your computer.

  11. Johanan
    January 23, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Although i dont really leave the pc on at night .. This article was really useful for those other times i leave it on standby

  12. Aung Thu H
    January 23, 2014 at 12:43 am

    A very helpful article. My computer oftentimes wakes by itself, too.

  13. Rick
    January 22, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    NSA- need I say anymore? Un-plug it at night.

  14. Tom W
    January 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    I either turn off or hibernate my computer every night, then it gets switched off at the power socket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *