If your PC is asleep, you want it to stay that way. Here’s how to stop your device from waking up automatically.
Sleeping your PC is a very effective way to complete a session while keeping all your active windows open.
This means you can instantly take the place you left behind, without your device using unnecessary power and generating heat when not needed.
Unfortunately, some Windows devices have the annoying habit of recently turning off sleep mode, negating many of the benefits listed above.
This is the way to find out what is causing the problem, and hopefully fix it.
Identify what is causing your PC to wake up from sleep: Command Prompt
Before you deal with the problem, it’s good to find out what caused the problem.
This may not be clear, but there are some software installed in Windows 10 that can help.
One example is through the Command Prompt window, which can be accessed via a quick search on the Start Menu.
From here, enter the command ‘powercfg -lastwake‘ and press enter. This will now show you the last device to wake your PC from sleep.
If you see a message that says ‘Calculate Build History – 0′ or ‘NONE‘ that means Windows has no record of being woken up from sleep, even though this number is reset if your PC reboots.
In that scenario, it’s a good idea to check all devices that have permission to wake your PC automatically. In the same window, enter ‘powercfg -devicequery wake_armed‘ and press enter.
You will now see a list of devices that can wake your PC from sleep, which includes a keyboard and mouse. There are no special settings if you want to delete one of the other devices, so you must enter another command:
‘powercfg -devicedisablakeake [NAME DEVICE]’
In this example, replace ‘DEVICE NAME’ with the name of the device exactly as you saw in the previous step.
Identify what is causing your PC to wake up from sleep: Event Viewer
If you want more information than just the name of the device that caused it to wake up, visit the event viewer. An easy way to access it is by typing ‘Event Viewer’ in the search bar in the taskbar and clicking on the first option.
In the window that appears, left-click ‘Windows Logs’, then right-click ‘System’ and select ‘Filter Current Log’ from the left panel.
There are many ways to filter results here, but you want to select ‘Power Troubleshooter’ from the ‘Event source’ drop-down. You can also choose a specific time period from the ‘Logged’ drop-down, before pressing OK to confirm.
You will now see a list of all events that fit your criteria, so every time your PC wakes up or sleep must be recorded.
Clicking on one will give you more information about it, and the main thing you are looking for is ‘Build Resources’ in the main box.
If the time is right when you think your PC might have been revived, you might find the offending party.
How to stop your PC from waking up
After identifying the problem, here are four main ways to stop it from happening again:
Disable wake up in the Device Manager
If you find a particular application that is causing you to wake up, the most effective way to resolve the problem is through Device Manager:
- Right-click the Start Menu icon and select ‘Device Manager’.
- From here, you will see a list of all devices that can communicate with your PC. Expand each category to find relevant devices.
- Find the device revealed by the diagnostic above and double click to open the ‘Properties’ window.
- Select the ‘Power management’ tab and uncheck the box next to ‘Allow this device to wake the computer’
Wake-on-LAN can be very useful, allowing your device to be turned on remotely. However, if a malfunction occurs, it could be the cause of your problem. Here’s how to turn it off:
- While still in Device Manager, look for devices that contain the word ‘Ethernet’ in the ‘Network Adapters’ section (this feature is usually associated with cable connections)
- Double click and go to the ‘Power management’ tab as before, and make sure all the boxes under ‘Wake on LAN’ are not checked
Change task scheduler
Many tasks that are scheduled to run in the background may require the device to get up in order to run. Here’s how to turn it off, although you have to make sure it is done at some point:
- Go to Settings> System> Power & sleep
- Click ‘Additional power settings’ in the right panel, which will open the Control Panel
- Click ‘Change package settings’ next to your current package and then ‘Change advanced power settings’
- Expand the ‘Sleep’ section and then ‘Allow wake time’
- Under ‘On battery’ and ‘Plugged in’, make sure the timer is set to ‘Disable’
Turn off scheduled maintenance
Scheduling maintenance for when you don’t use a PC is great, until it starts waking up on your device when you aren’t using it. Here’s how to turn it off:
- Open the Control Panel from the Start Menu. Make sure you are in the ‘small icon’ view, so click ‘Category’ if you see it in the top right of the window.
- Head to Security and Maintenance and click on the Maintenance drop-down
- Under ‘Automatic Maintenance’, click ‘Change Maintenance settings’
- Make sure the box next to ‘Allow scheduled maintenance to activate my computer at the scheduled time’ is disabled
However, this means you have to do maintenance operations manually on your own time. Ignoring these things can significantly compromise the stability of your PC.
If no solution works, it’s a good idea to check for malware that causes spontaneous wake-up.
The default Windows Defender will do a good job, while free Malwarebytes is a very good alternative.