How to Stop Windows 10 Waking Up from Sleep On Its Own

Is Windows 10 waking up from sleep randomly even though you’ve put it in Sleep Mode? I hear you. Like many other people, I often leave my PC on for longer periods of time. When I’m done working, I simply put it in ‘sleep mode’ so I can easily continue where I left off the next day.

Lately, I’ve noticed that my PC ‘comes to life’ on its own even though I put it to sleep. (I know… creepy!) This brought out the geek detective in me so if you’re experiencing this, read on to find out how to stop that from happening.

Windows 10 Waking Up from Sleep Mode — Possible Reasons

There are multiple possible causes why your PC can suddenly wake up from sleep. Although they might seem random, they are actually not.

One of the most common causes is Windows itself.

Windows 10 normally checks for updates or performs scheduled maintenance tasks. To make matters worse, if the task fails, it can keep on trying the task until it succeeds. So your PC will go to sleep and come out of it multiple times!

Another possible cause is you have software installed that is scheduled to perform a task. An example of this is your anti-virus software performing a scan at a specific time.

Another reason is that a hardware device is triggering the PC to wake up. The most common device is the network device, but USB devices can also trigger power mode changes.

So Which One is Causing these Random ‘Wake Ups’

The first thing to do is…  ask Windows itself! The way to do this is to use a command prompt and use the powercfg command.

Here are the steps in detail:

  1. On the Windows search bar, type “command prompt” (without quotes).
  2. In the results that show, right-click Command Prompt.
  3. In the popup menu that appears, click Run as administrator.
    Afministrator Command Prompt
  4. Click the Yes button in the User Account Control dialog box when it shows.
  5. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type:
    powercfg –lastwake

    Powercfg -lastwake

In this specific example, you can see that a hardware device woke up the computer. The Intel(R) Ethernet Connection caused the PC to wake up from sleep.

Please note that it’s not always the fault of a hardware device :)  Results of your particular powercfg –lastwake command run may show a specific software or application instead.

To give an example, I had left my email client – MS Outlook – running a few times. Not a problem in itself, but since I had scheduled it to fetch email from a specific email account at regular intervals, it woke up my PC… constantly!

Apart from the –lastwake parameter, you can use the –waketimers parameter too.

Powercfg -waketimers

The powercfg –waketimers command will show all active wake timers. (Below in this article you can find out how to disable the Allow Wake Timers option in Windows 10.)

Another option to find out the reason for the wake-from-sleep issue is to check the Windows Event Viewer.

Here are the steps:

  1. On the Windows search box, type “event viewer” (without quotes).
  2. In the search results, click the Event Viewer App.
  3. In the Event Viewer window, open Windows Logs, and then click System (1).
    Windows 10 Event Viewer
  4. Under System (right-side of the window), scroll through the event list and look for a Source that includes “Power”.
  5. For the selected event, you can see the explanation in the panel below the event list (2).

In the example screenshot above, the Wake Source is listed as Unknown. Not very helpful, but there will be list entries that do tell you the reason. You can click the Details tab for more information on the event.

How to Stop Windows 10 Waking Up from Sleep On Its Own

Once you know what causes your PC from waking up from sleep, you can take action to prevent it from happening again.

Windows Update

Let’s start with Windows Update since it’s a common cause of the wake-from-sleep behavior. Also, updates do not only wake up your PC from sleep, it can also result in reboots.

If you leave your browser, files, and documents open to continue where you left off, you do not want your PC to reboot in the middle of the night (even if you HAVE saved your open work).

Here are the steps to change Windows Update settings:

  1. Click the Start menu button, then click Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  2. In the Settings window, scroll down and select Update & Security.
    Windows 10 Update & Security
  3. Now click the Windows Update option.
    Windows Update - PC waking up from sleep
  4. Wait for the Windows Update check to complete and for the Windows Update results to show.

There are two things you can do here.

#1. Change your PC ‘active hours’ to suit your situation. This controls when updates and reboots will not take place. So what if we define active hours as all hours of the day? Although that looks like a great way to prevent Windows Update from running, you can only define a maximum period of 18 hours as active hours :(

After all, you can’t be working 24 hours, right?!? Still, an 18-hour limitation gives you a lot of control when updates should not be installed.
Windows 10 Active Hours

#2. Completely pause Windows Updates from happening.

Click the Advanced options in the Windows Update window.
Windows Update Advanced Options

Now you can select a date until which the updates should be paused.

Tip: Since you are already there, you should click the Delivery Optimization option too, and disable the option to Allow downloads from other PCs.

Do this for all PCs on your local network, so they won’t wake each other up distributing Windows Updates files to each other.
Windows Update Delivery Optimization

Scheduled Maintenance

Windows 10 has a few automatic maintenance functions at a scheduled interval. Security, diagnostics, updates, all things that help keep your PC in good shape.

Apart from the ability to schedule when this maintenance is allowed to run, it is also possible to tell it not to wake up the PC.

Here are the steps:

  1. In the Windows search box, type “maintenance” (without quotes).
  2. In the search results, click Security and Maintenance.
    Windows 10 Security and Maintenance
  3. In the Security and Maintenance window that appears, open the Maintenance group (1).
  4. Now click the option Change maintenance settings (2).
    Windows 10 Change Maintenance Settings
  5. Clear the checkbox for Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time.
    Disable Automatic Maintenance Wake Up
  6. Click OK.

After this, scheduled maintenance tasks will no longer be able to wake up your Windows 10 computer from sleep mode. (You can always run the maintenance manually by selecting the Start maintenance option.)

Network Controller (Wake-on-LAN)

As we saw in the earlier screenshot for the powercfg example, network connectors (or adapters) can trigger the PC to wake up from sleep.

Although there are valid scenarios for this option, it might not be what you want if it results in your computer waking up from sleep.

The steps to disable the Wake-on-LAN function are:

  1. Right-click the Start menu button.
  2. In the popup menu, click Device Manager.
    Start Device Manager
  3. In Device Manager, open the group called Network adapters by clicking the arrow in front of it (1).
  4. Right-click the network adapter in the list, and in the popup menu select Properties (2).
    Windows 10 Network Adapter Properties
  5. In the Properties window for the network adapter, select the Power Management tab.
  6. Uncheck or clear the checkbox named Allow this device to wake the computer.
    Disable Wake-on-LAN
  7. Click OK.

One thing to keep in mind here is that the Wake-on-LAN feature is available for each network adapter. So if your PC has multiple Ethernet connections, or maybe even a wireless connection, these steps need to be repeated for each network adapter.

Wake Timers

In the start of this article, you read that Windows 10 has the possibility to use wake timers. Wake timers are scheduled events that can wake the PC from sleep (or hibernation).

The Windows Task Scheduler has a checkbox option to Wake the computer to run this task for scheduled tasks. That will result in a wake timer to be used.

To prevent wake timers from waking up Windows 10 from sleep, you can disable this option.

  1. In the Windows search box, type “power option” (without quotes).
  2. In the search result, click Power & sleep settings.
  3. Click Additional power settings.
    Windows 10 Additional Power Settings
  4. Select Change plan settings for the selected power plan.
    Windows 10 Change Power Plan Settings
  5. In the Edit Plan Settings window, click Change advanced power settings
  6. This will bring up the Power Options dialog box. Open the Sleep option.
  7. Click Allow wake timers and then change the Setting. You can either completely Disable the Allow wake timers, or allow Important Wake Timers Only.
    Disable Allow Wake timers
  8. Click the OK button to confirm the change.

Do realize that this setting affects all wake timers. If you have identified a specific task that causes your PC to wake up from sleep, it might be better to open the Task Manager and disable the option to Wake the computer to run this task.

USB Devices

This is probably the most uncommon reason why your Windows 10 PC is waking up on its own. But since it is possible for USB devices to wake your PC from sleep, it needs to be mentioned.

In normal circumstances, when a Windows PC goes to sleep, you want to be able to wake it up using the mouse or keyboard (or even a mousepad on laptops).

This is one of the reasons why it’s possible for hardware devices to wake up the PC. In most cases these input devices are USB-based. (Even a web camera with motion detection can be connected on a USB port and trigger wake-up events.)

Configuring the power options for USB devices is very similar to the configuration for network adapters.

  1. Right-click the Start menu button.
  2. In the popup menu, click Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager locate the USB device, right-click it and select Properties in the popup menu.
  4. Click the Power Management tab.
  5. Clear the checkbox named Allow this device to wake the computer.
    Disable USB Device Wake Up PC
  6. Click the OK button to confirm, and OK again to close the USB device Properties dialog box.

These steps need to be repeated for all USB devices. (Unless you know which particular USB device is triggering the wake-up event.)

If you are not sure which USB device is the culprit, you can try removing them one-by-one and see if the PC still wakes up. This is only possible for external USB devices, so be aware that some integrated devices (like webcams) often also use a USB connection.

Device Drivers

Considering the potential of hardware devices to contribute to the wake-up-from-sleep issue, this story would not be complete without mentioning the importance of up-to-date device drivers.

Device drivers enable Windows 10 to interact with PC hardware such as network adapters and USB devices. As such, the most updated device drivers will ensure Windows 10 can accurately control the devices and their power behavior. You can download DriverFinder here and run a driver scan to check if you have the latest drivers for your Windows 10 PC.

[Fixed] Windows 10 PC Won’t Wake Up From Sleep Mode

Going through Windows 10 PC won’t wake up from sleep mode problems? Solve this issue using these easy-to-follow fixes with pictures.

windows10-sleep-modeWhat do you do if your Windows 10 PC won’t wake up from Sleep Mode?

Sleep Mode is very useful for saving battery life on a laptop because saving on electricity is a good thing. More battery juice, longer laptop use. Yey!

It’s also also useful for desktop PC’s. Windows uses Sleep Mode to save the current status of your PC and easily restore it on wake-up. Wake-up is typically achieved with the move of the mouse, or tap of a key on the keyboard.

But sometimes… these ‘wake up’ things you need to do don’t work at all. So what do you do? Let’s begin…

Quick fix: Reboot!

Press the power button for about 10 seconds. That should power down the system completely. Press the power button again to restart it. After that, you can use the tips in this guide to figure out why your Windows 10 PC won’t wake up from Sleep Mode to prevent it from happening again.

Note: you should always try to shut down your system the normal way. Do this force shutdown tip only when necessary. Also, pls. don’t revert to this ‘fix’ as your go to solution for Sleep mode problems. That won’t fix the problem and can harm your system if you do it often.

Is your PC in Sleep or Hibernate mode?

First though, please note that there is a difference between your PC going into Sleep Mode or Hibernate Mode. Both are meant to save power and allow for easy continuation of work by starting Windows faster. In Sleep Mode the computer still uses a little power since the state is stored in RAM (computer memory), while in Hibernate Mode the state is saved to disk (a hibernation file), and then PC turns off.

On a laptop though, even if a computer goes into Sleep Mode, Windows will still go into hibernation mode if the battery runs out.

Waking up from Hibernation mode

Waking up from hibernation not only takes longer, but it also requires different actions. On a laptop, you obviously first want to make sure there is sufficient power, so plug it first to charge the battery.

Opening the lid on your laptop will normally bring Windows back on from hibernation mode. If that does not work, press the power button. On a desktop, the power button should be used.

Waking up from Sleep mode

To wake up a laptop from Sleep Mode you use the same actions as on a desktop (mouse or keyboard). Some PCs have a separate sleep button. If so, you need to press that to wake up the laptop from Sleep Mode.

Ok, say you’ve established that your system is truly into Sleep Mode, and it really won’t wake up. Now what? Read on for the fixes folks!

Check your mouse or keyboard settings

Often, it’s your mouse or keyboard that’s the problem. To fix this, follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the Start menu button and select Device Manager.
    Start Device Manager
  2. In Device Manager, you will see a list of device categories. Open the category called Keyboards. (Click the down arrow in front of it).
  3. Next, right-click your keyboard device in the list, and in the popup menu, select Properties.Keyboard device properties
  4. In the keyboard Properties window, select the Power Management tab.
  5. After that, make sure the checkbox named Allow this device to wake up the computer is selected.
    Allow wake up using keyboard
  6. Click OK to confirm.
  7. Repeat these steps for the category called Mice and other pointing devices, with your mouse device.
    Allow mouse wake up

Now try again if you can wake up your Windows 10 PC using the mouse and keyboard. In most cases this should fix the issue. If not, please try the steps below.

  1. In Device Manager, open the category called Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  2. Right-click the USB Root Hub device and click Properties.
    Note: If there are multiple devices, repeat these steps for each until you have pinpointed the right one.
  3. Select the Power Management tab.
  4. Now clear or uncheck the checkbox named Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
    USB Root Hub power
  5. Click OK to confirm.

This will ensure that the USB port remains powered, so the keyboard and mouse devices will still work when in sleep mode. Even when using a wireless mouse, the receiver is still connected to a USB port.

If you are using a Bluetooth mouse, you might need to perform these steps for the Bluetooth USB module device in the Bluetooth category instead.

Configure your Power Options

To configure which power mode Windows uses, follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the Start menu button, and click Power Options.
    Power Options from Star menu
  2. In the Power Options window, click Choose what the power buttons do.
    Power Options
    Note: On a laptop, you can also use the Choose what closing the lid does option. This will show you the same options, but now includes an option for closing the lid and differentiates between On battery and Plugged in modes as shown below.
    Laptop Power Options
  3. In the next window, ensure that the option selected next to When I press the sleep button is Sleep. (If not, then change it to Sleep.)Power buttons
  4. Next, click  Change settings that are currently unavailable. (This will enable the options under Shutdown settings.)
  5. Clear (uncheck) Turn on fast startup (recommended).
  6. Click Save changes to confirm and close this window.
    Note: If after this change the Windows 10 sleep mode error is not resolved, you can re-enable this option. The Fast Startup option can cause problems, that is why it is mentioned as a tip here to fix wake up problems. But when it is not the cause of the wake up problem, it is beneficial to keep it turned on. 
    Turn on fast startup
  7. Back in the Power Options window, click the Change plan settings for the current power plan being used.
    Change Power Plan Settings
  8. Now click the Change advanced power settings.
    Advanced Power Settings
  9. Verify the settings for Allow hybrid sleep, and Allow wake timers.
    Advanced Sleep Options
    You want to make sure that the Allow hybrid sleep setting is turned Off, and that Allow wake timers is set to Enable. Click the + symbol to open the option and then click the setting to change it.
  10. If these changes still don’t fix your Windows 10 PC won’t wake up from sleep problem, then Disable the USB selective suspend setting.
    Disable USB selective suspend
  11. A less common setting that can cause issues with Sleep mode in Windows 10 is the multimedia sharing setting.
    Mutlimedia Power Option
    Allow sleep during media sharing

    Open the Multimedia settings. Click the When sharing media option, and then change the setting to Allow the computer to sleep.

  12. Click OK to confirm and save the settings.

You may need to restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

Hibernate mode – disable, reboot, enable

If your PC uses the Hibernate option for power saving, it can help to disable and re-enable this option. If none of the previous steps have solved the Windows 10 wake up from sleep problem, it is useful to try this, especially on laptops where Hibernate mode is used frequently.

The easiest way is to use the Advanced settings in the Power Options menu.

  1. Right-click the Start menu button, and click Power Options.
  2. Click the Change plan settings for the current power plan being used.
  3. Click Change advanced power settings.
  4. Under the Sleep category, open the Hibernate after option and then change the Setting to Never.
    Disable Hibernate
  5. Click OK to save and confirm.
  6. Reboot your PC.
  7. Now re-enable this Hibernate option again, by changing the Setting to the previous value.

Update your device drivers

Windows controls devices using device drivers. This includes the power management control on devices; because of this, it is important to ensure that you have the correct drivers installed for your devices.

You can use the Windows 10 Device Manager to update the drivers individually, or get the latest drivers from the PC manufacturer.

If you don’t have time or the know-how to properly select, download and install the drivers you need, you can try using DriverFinder.

DriverFinder will automatically recognize your system and find the correct and most-updated drivers for it.

  1. Click here to download and install DriverFinder.
  2. Click Activate to register your copy of DriverFinder.
  3. Click Start Scan to check for new drivers.
    df-driver-scan
  4. Download and install the latest device drivers specifically recommended for your system.
    download-audio-drivers
  5. Restart your PC or laptop.

Check the BIOS resume settings

Ok, this fix is really more for older PC systems. And although Windows 10 is not often run on older computers due to compatibility issues, I still want to mention it here, especially since many of these steps are also useful on troubleshooting the same issue on older Windows versions.

If the above fixes didn’t solve your Windows 10 PC won’t wake up from sleep mode, reboot your PC and go into the BIOS (press Esc, Del, or F2 during startup in most cases).

Look for the settings pertaining to the Resume from S3 By USB Device or something similar, and make sure the setting is Enabled. Please note that the location and name of the option depend on the BIOS version.

Allow USB wakup in BIOS

Note: If you are using a cabled mouse or keyboard with PS/2 connection (typical the green and purple connectors), then make sure to enable those options in the BIOS as well.

Press the F10 key to save the setting after changing it, and then reboot the computer.

Windows 10 PC won’t wake up from sleep mode – what if the problem is the monitor?

When Windows 10 wakes up from sleep mode, the PC starts, and the screen comes on. So what if the PC starts and it is only the screen that does not power up?

This is not something that would happen with laptops a lot, but in case of a desktop, it is very possible. The PC starts (you can either hear the fans or the hard disk spinning up), but there is no display.

The first thing to try is to simply turn off the monitor, and turn it back on again. This way, you at least know that this is the problem you are dealing with. If that does not work, following are other possible solutions.

Monitor Settings

A common cause of the monitor not waking up from sleep is a setting called “auto-detect” on the monitor. This setting helps the monitor detect the signal on the connections and use the proper input for the video signal. Go into your monitor settings and disable this feature. After that try the wake up from sleep mode again and see if it is fixed.

Note: Instructions for this will vary a lot depending on the monitor type. In most cases there will be buttons on the monitor on the bottom or side of the monitor to access the settings.

More Power Settings

Windows 10 has some more advanced Power Options that control how power is saved and restore to the PC hardware. A setting that can affect the graphics card, and thus the monitor, is called Link State Power Management in the PCI Express category.

Disable this option with these steps:

  1. Open Power Options from the Control Panel.
  2. Select the option Change plan settings for the current power plan.
  3. Next, click the Change advanced power settings
  4. In the Power Options dialog box, in the Advanced Settings tab, scroll down to the PCI Express entry and click the + sign to open it.
  5. Now click Link State Power Management, and clickSetting to change it to Off.Link State Power Management
  6. Click OK to confirm, and close the open windows.

After this, try putting the computer to sleep again and wake it up to check if the monitor comes on as well.

Trigger the graphics driver to rebuild the screen

If the permanent settings in the earlier steps do not help with the problem of waking up the monitor, then triggering the graphics driver to refresh the screen could help.

This is actually a Microsoft recommended solution to deal with a black screen problem. Simply press the Windows Logo + Ctrl + Shift + B keys all at the same time.

The computer might beep, and the screen flash, but hopefully the monitor will show your Windows Desktop again.

This solution has been introduced with Windows Vista, when the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) was added to Windows. It acts like a graphics reset.

Check the monitor cable

This might seem like an odd suggestion. But it is definitely possible to have a defect or non-standard cable that causes the problem of the monitor not waking up on a Windows PC. If you have tried all other solutions, do consider this option too. Ideally, try a cable from which you know it works correctly on a different system.

VGA to HDMI

If you are using a converter for your PC display output to the monitor display input, you should also check it. Converters from Display Port, HDMI, DVI and VGA (and vice versa) are not always compatible with the power options offered by Windows 10.