Is something interfering with your PC’s sleep pattern? These solutions are more effective than counting sheep.
Sleep mode is a great way of keeping your PC ready to go at a moment’s notice without wasting power. If it stops working, it can be a difficult problem to diagnose.
Like many common Windows issues, the best way to tackle this predicament is to try a variety of different solutions. Work your way through this list, and hopefully you’ll be able to give your computer a good night’s sleep.
Check Your Sleep Mode Settings
Before you dive into fixing sleep mode, it’s worth making sure that your settings are all in order. If you’re working on a shared computer or a PC that doesn’t belong to you, there’s a chance that someone else made a change that you don’t know about.
To access these settings, head to Power Options in the Control Panel and click Choose when to turn off the display.
Confirm that the dropdowns labelled Put the computer to sleep: are set up properly. If your PC is going to sleep too soon, or taking too long to go to sleep, this should be your first port of call.
Your PC Won’t Go to Sleep
Sleep mode can save your monitor from burn-in and prevent your laptop from wasting its battery life. As a result, a PC that can’t enter sleep mode can cause big problems for one reason or another. Here are a few ways to force your system to get some rest.
Check Your Drivers
Start out by checking that your drivers are up to date. The most important ones to check in relation to sleep mode issues are chipset drivers, network drivers, and BIOS drivers. It’s also a good idea to ensure that you’re running the latest version of Windows 10.
Check for Power Requests
Software installed on your PC might interfere with sleep mode by sending power requests that keep the system awake. To see a log of all power requests, we need to open an elevated command prompt. Do this by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).
Enter the following command into the resulting window:
This will present a list of all active power requests. All categories should theoretically be empty. If they’re not, make a note of what is prompting the power request. This could be the reason your PC is failing to enter sleep mode.
If your PC is instead waking from sleep unexpectedly, you can use the following command to see what woke it most recently:
Run Built-In Utilities
One of the best things about using Windows is the amount of support that’s available. Windows 10 is kitted out with plenty of context-specific troubleshooting utilities and they can help bring your sleep mode woes to an end.
Open the Control Panel and head to the Troubleshooting section. Select View all to access a list of all the different troubleshooters installed on your device.
In this case, you’re looking for the utilities labelled Power and System Maintenance. Run them both and see whether sleep mode starts working.
Restart Your PC in Safe Mode
Sleep mode problems are often caused by a complication during the startup process. 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 see what’s at fault.
To execute a clean boot on Windows 10, open the System Configuration app. Head to the Services tab, check the box labelled Hide all Microsoft services, then click Disable all. This will ensure that only essential services will run.
Next, head to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager. Disable every item that’s currently set to launch at startup. Finally, close Task Manager, click OK in the System Configuration window, and restart your system. If it’s able to go to sleep when it reinitializes, use trial and error to determine which particular service or startup item was causing the problem.
Your PC Goes to Sleep Without Permission
A system that goes to sleep too often can be even more infuriating than a PC showing signs of insomnia. If your computer goes to sleep without your say-so, you run the risk of being interrupted in the middle of a task. Fortunately, this problem can typically be fixed quite easily, if you know which settings to adjust.
Restore System Defaults
The most straightforward way to prevent your PC from going to sleep randomly is to restore its default power settings. To do so, open up the Power & sleep section of the Settings app, and click Additional power settings.
From here, select Choose when to turn off the display.
Select Restore default settings for this plan. If this doesn’t work, or the option is not available, click Change advanced power settings.
Click Restore plan defaults. If this doesn’t work, or the option is not available, use the dropdown menu to select a different plan, then try again.
This should fix any problems with your power plan, leaving you free to adjust your settings without affecting sleep mode.
Adjust Advanced Settings
If the method above doesn’t solve your problem, you may have to tweak your sleep settings individually. Open the Control Panel and navigate to Power Options, then click on Choose when to turn off the display. Next, click on Change advanced power settings.
Now scroll through the list until you find Sleep, and use the plus sign button to expand this section.
Adjust all these options to your specifications. It’s up to you whether you want your computer to go to sleep after a certain time, or never to enter sleep mode. Afterwards, click Apply and exit the menu.
Remove the Battery
If all else fails, and you’re working with a laptop, your battery might be the culprit. Remove it from your system and wait a few seconds, then re-insert it.
Now you know how to troubleshoot sleep mode settings and deal with a PC that won’t go to sleep, as well as fixing a PC that randomly goes to sleep. Should you even use sleep mode or would you be better off with hibernation? If none of the above fixed your issues, maybe that’s a last resort.
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