MonitorOff – Software to Switch Off Your Monitor & Save Energy

Saikat Basu 24-11-2009

atmonitor-1What if somebody gave you a little 420KB free Windows software and said that it could not only lengthen the life of your monitor but also shorten your electricity bill? Would you consider it a must-have?


I can’t give you the figures right here that will show the power saving effects when you switch off your monitor when you aren’t using it. But it must be something when you consider that a LCD monitor consumes 20 -30 Watts and a CRT glows with 70 – 80 Watts.

When computers sleep or are on standby, there is some minimal energy consumption but it is far lower than when they running in all their glory. Putting our computers on standby is a wonderful habit to develop. Shutting off the monitor is a first step towards lesser power consumption 5 Ways To Reduce The Power Consumption Of Your Computer Read More .

The benefit is not related to eco-consciousness alone but also to our wallets. Energy savings means lower bills. Lesser monitor usage means better battery life of laptops. That again lowers the running cost of a computer.

If I have managed to wake up your interest then let’s look at that 420Kb sized freeware we were speaking about. Rather aptly, it’s called Monitor Off.

Monitor Off just asks you for a few settings and makes you and your monitor an energy saver. Computers have their own power saving schemes and you set it to turn off the monitors after a predetermined interval or start a screensaver (please note that screensavers usually do not save power). Monitor Off gives the user more hands on control over the power options of a monitor.


switch off monitor software

Monitor Off can be downloaded and installed or can be run as a standalone program (i.e. without an installation). Either way, it runs minimized in the background. Here are the three things you can make it do :

Setup Monitor Off To Switch Off Display Or Start The Screensaver

For energy saving with a keystroke you can enable hot keys.

switch off monitor software


Also, activate the screensaver with another set of hot keys.

monitor switch off app

Alternatively, you can use the right click on the system tray icon as a toggle switch to turn off the display or start the screensaver. Another option is to set the tray icon to take a double click as a switch off command.

turn off monitor software


Setup Monitor Switch Off Delay

turn off monitor software

You can set the number of seconds the program delays switching off the monitors after monitor power off action. The default is 10 seconds. During this delay interval, the operation can be aborted.

Setup Monitor Off To Lock The Computer Before Switching Off

This combines a power saving with a bit of security, especially in an office environment. Thinking of going to the water cooler? Set this option and the computer display will power down and lock the display. The program supports multiple displays. Though, I couldn’t test this aspect – going by the words on the website, it should be able to handle double display workstations.

The energy saving freeware is a no hassle piece of software and the best thing about it is that it’s portable too. Monitor Off (v1.0) is supported on Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/Vista and requires NET Framework 2.0 or later.


Do you use a specific energy management app? Or do you leave the energy saving to Windows default settings? But before you comment, do read our posts on how computers can be used to save the world.

Download: Monitor Off

Explore more about: Computer Monitor, Energy Conservation, Green Technology, Save Money.

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  1. JJJ
    October 31, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Can this be set to minutes and hours? I watch movies and sometimes fall asleep, but I'm also downloading stuff so I don't want the computer to shut down, just the monitor.

  2. aj
    January 13, 2010 at 10:10 am

    That's a nice handy app.

    Thanks for the information.

    Save energy and bucks.

    enjoy :)

  3. arlanda
    December 17, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Nice! :D I've been looking for something like this for age.

    JK III,
    Physically using the power button is not fun to use repeatedly throughout the days every time you walk away from your computer. Haven't you notice that most people do not bother to turn off their monitor when they're not at their desk?

    I think using the software approach such as this program is a better solution.

    In addition, physically turning it back on will take time for the display to appear. This nice app will turn off the monitor for you with a pre-defined delay value (to abort) and simply hitting your mouse will turn it back on quickly.

    There's no option in Windows' power saving feature to turn off the monitor instantly at user's discretion. If there was, then there wouldn't be any need for this program.

  4. JK III
    November 25, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I agree with mchlbk. Furthermore, why cant I just press the power button on the monitor to turn it off ?

  5. Max
    November 25, 2009 at 11:41 am

    You could do the same just using nircmd.exe utility and shortcut from desktop - one double click is enough. Alternatively - if you use Autohotkey or AutoIT you could simply use the hotkey with the shortcut - no additional resident software is required.

  6. mchlbk
    November 25, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I fail to see how this is better than the built-in power options.

  7. Ammon
    November 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Nice Mac app icon (atMonitor) in a post about a Windows app :-)

  8. joe
    November 24, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    thanks, i was just looking for something like this a day ago. perfect

  9. a2136635
    November 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Another one is MonitorOffSaver, which installs itself as a screensaver. Obviously when the screensaver launches, it turns off the monitor.

    • Joby
      November 25, 2009 at 6:34 pm

      What's the point of that? There's already a configuration option that does EXACTLY that under power settings in Windows. It's also buried somewhere in Linux and I would imagine it's also available on a Mac. Talk about reinventing the wheel.

  10. Bens
    November 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Does it work with multiple monitors?

    • Saikat
      November 24, 2009 at 11:59 pm

      The site says that it does. But I couldn't test it out as I don't have multiple monitors setup.

  11. Larry B.
    November 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    The way the universe works, there must be a downside to turning on and off your monitor 10 times a day... ?

    Can anybody clarify this? Thanks :)

    • Chris
      November 25, 2009 at 3:32 am

      I can't see how there'd be a downside. Turning your monitor off when you're not using it can only do good by decreasing electricity.

  12. Uri
    November 24, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Does it work with laptops?

    • Saikat
      November 24, 2009 at 11:58 pm

      Yes, it does. I work on a laptop.