As many people get ready to go home for the evening, they may put their computers in sleep mode instead of shutting them down. However, the next morning they may find their systems awake. Instead of suspecting that someone was on your computer, your system may not have stayed asleep while you were gone. Here are some solutions for fixing a system when the computer won't stay asleep.
Setting Sleep Mode
There are many reasons why your computer may not stay in sleep mode when it’s set. However, before you start getting frustrated, you can check the sleep mode settings and change them if necessary. To get started, press the Windows icon to bring up the “Start” menu. Then go to “Settings,” which is the gear icon on the left side of the menu.
Next, select “System,” and then “Power& Sleep.” There will be two settings that you can change, “Screen” and “Sleep.” Under each one, you can set how long the computer should wait before the screen turns off if the computer is inactive, while the sleep setting does the same.
There are several time settings for each choice, ranging from one minute to never. If you want your system to sleep to save power, do not select never on either setting. Choose the time for each setting to turn off and then you’re done.
Setting Additional Power Options
Before exiting out of the screen, look to the right side of it to find “additional power settings” and click on it. These settings allow you to set options like sleep, screen brightness, and several others. When you click “Change plan settings” by “Balanced,” which is the recommended setting, you should see the same time increments that you set under screen and sleep.
Beneath those settings is "Change advanced power settings," which you can click to find out what is listed under sleep. Another dialog box will open entitled, "Advanced settings." Scroll down the box until you come to sleep and press the plus sign. That will open the settings for sleep mode.
Listed will be “Sleep after,” which should be the same time that you set under sleep on the system settings. Next is “Allow hybrid sleep,” which is a combination of sleep and hibernate. If you want to allow it, select “On.” If not, then select “Off.”
Next is “Hibernate,” which will power down your computer to its lowest power settings. Again, you can select how many minutes your system should wait before turning on hibernate if you want it to. If not, select “Never.”
Finally, there is a setting titled: "Allow wake timers." It allows Windows to wake the system for events like scheduled maintenance tasks. The choice of settings is either "Enable," "Disable," or "Important wake timers only."
Choose the one you want, press “Apply” and then “OK” to change the sleep options. Then you’re done with the advanced sleep settings and can check your system for other issues that could be keeping it from staying in sleep mode.
Which Programs Prevent Computer From Sleeping?
Whether it is your work computer or the one at home that doesn’t stay asleep, it can create problems for you. The reason to use sleep mode is to save power and keep images from burning onto the screen if there isn’t a screensaver.
If you want to find out if a program is causing a Windows computer to not stay in sleep mode, start by pressing the "Start" menu button and type “CMD” into the search bar. After entering, a command prompt window should appear. If it doesn’t, then click the results list.
Another reason the command prompt window isn’t opening is that you may need administrative privileges to get into the system. If this is the case, retype CMD into the search bar and do a right-click on it, select “Run as Administrator,” and press enter.
When the black window opens, type “powercfg-requests." If a program or device is preventing the system from going into sleep mode, the information should appear on the screen. You may get a message that indicates a program was open when the computer was put into sleep mode.
If you have a MAC, you can find out this information by going to Applications and then choosing Utilities. Next, open the Terminal and type in the command: “pmset -g assertions.” It should then tell you which device is preventing the sleep mode from working, along with which process.
Once you know what the cause is, you can take steps to fix it. However, other issues can cause the computer to wake. For instance, if a system task was scheduled, it will wake the computer. Plus, other settings can prevent the system from going into sleep mode.
Scan For Errors
You can also use the command prompt in Windows to scan your system for errors that cause it not to stay asleep. When the screen appears after typing CMD into the search bar, type “powercfg/energy” and press enter. After about a minute, the results of the scan should appear in the command prompt window.
It will list any errors, warnings, or messages that the scan found. Beneath this information, there will be a link to get more information about what the scan found. By pressing on the link, a file will open in your browser. The window will then list details about the errors, warnings or the messages.
After reading the information, take whatever action is necessary to fix the problem that prevents the system from staying in sleep mode. If the scan doesn’t resolve the issue, run a virus scan before checking anything else. A virus or malware running in the background on your system could be the culprit.
There are many reasons that your computer won’t stay asleep but scanning the system can give you clues as to what is wrong. Then, you can change the necessary settings to ensure your system goes to sleep when you want it to and stays asleep.