Put your PC to sleep, allowing you to get back to work quickly while saving energy. But what if your PC keeps waking itself up? Here’s how to know to allow this device to wake the computer.
will put it into a low power state, cutting power to most PC components and providing enough ability to keep the memory up to date. This allows you to quickly return your computer to the state when you sleep, including open documents and folders. One of the differences between sleep mode and hibernate mode is that the activity of a particular device can wake up a sleeping PC. Scheduled tasks can configure to wake up and run on your PC.
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- 1 See The Last Thing That Wakes Your PC
- 2 How to Stop Your PC From Waking Up Randomly
- 3 Conclusion
See The Last Thing That Wakes Your PC
The first step to determining why your PC wakes up before you want it to is what caused it to wake up. You can usually determine which event causes your computer to wake up last with a simple Command Prompt command.
- Start Command Prompt by pressing Start, typing “command,” then selecting the “Command Prompt” application.
- In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter: powercfg -last wake
- From the output of the above command, I used the power button to wake up my PC. You can also view listed devices, such as a mouse, keyboard, or network card, or events such as wake timers or automated maintenance.
This won’t always give you the information you need, but often it will.
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Explore Other Wake Up Events with Event Viewer
He wakes up. We’ll turn to Event Viewer, a handy logging tool that will allow this device to wake the computer. It will also help us know when your computer (whether it’s shut down) and when it’s gone. Discovering wake events is different from the event viewer what woke it up before.
- Press Start, type “events,” then select “Event Viewer.”
- To open Event Viewer, hit Start, type “event,” and select “Event Viewer.”
3. In the left pane, navigate to Event Viewer (Local) & gt; Windows Logs > System
4. You’ll see a lot of information here, but don’t worry. You don’t need to read through or attempt to understand everything in the log. We’re going to filter it to just the stuff we need to look at.
5. Right-click the “System” log and choose “Filter Current Log.”
6. In the Filter Current Log window, on the “Event sources” dropdown menu, select the “PowerTroubleshooter” option and then click “OK.”
7. Back in the main Event Viewer window, you’ll see that we’ve filtered out the hundreds of messages that aren’t relevant to our problem and honed right in on the thing we care about: when the computer is waking up from a low-power state.
8. You can scroll through every instance where your laptop has woken throughout the log (which should be hundreds of entries).
It would help to focus on the time the event was logged (did it wake when you were at the computer or a random middle-of-the-night wake-up call) and what Wake Source indicates.
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Using Wake Source
- If the Wake Source says “Power Button,” that indicates that the power button on the PC was pressed to wake it up—an action you most likely took yourself.
- In case the Wake Source says something like “Device–HID-Compliant Mouse (or Keyboard),” the PC is configured for keypresses and mouse movements to wake it.
- If the Wake Source lists your network adapter, that indicates your PC is configured so that incoming network activity can wake it up—something that’s useful if you like having your PC go to sleep but still need it available to other network devices at times.
- Then if the Wake Source says “Timer,” a scheduled task woke the computer. The source information usually includes some indication about the job that woke the PC. For example, in the previous screenshot. I can tell that my PC has been awake to do a scheduled restart after an update.
- You may also see something like “Wake Source: Unknown,” which is a bit more cryptic, but at least it tells when the PC was awoken.
Once you’ve established a pattern of odd computer wake-up calls and you’ve identified the source, it’s time to do something about it.
How to Stop Your PC From Waking Up Randomly
Hopefully, one of the above tricks helped you determine what’s waking your PC. Now is the time to fix the problem. Continue with the section that applies to your situation.
Limit Hardware Devices That Can Wake Your PC
While browsing Event Viewer logs, you may have noticed that four primary hardware devices can wake your PC: mouse, desk keys, network adapter, and power button (or laptop cover if that’s what you’re using). You can easily view a complete list of hardware devices that are allowed to wake up your PC with a command prompt.
- Open a command prompt window and run the following command:
powercfg -device query wake_armed
powercfg device query aw_armed
In this example, I have multiple devices that are allowed to wake my PC, including an Intel Ethernet adapter, two keyboards (I’m switching between a standard keyboard and a gaming keyboard), and a mouse. Whatever your setup, now that you know which devices can wake your PC, you can go to Device Manager to tell them not to.
2. We detail how to prevent your mouse from waking up your PC and prevent network activity from waking your PC. Why do you want to do this? One word, cat.
3. Then press Enter.
4. In the Device Manager window, locate the device that will you want to prevent your computer from waking. It will have the same name as the output of the powercfg command you just ran—Right-click on the device and select “Properties” from the context menu.
5. In the “Power Management” tab of the device properties window, deactivate the “Allow this device to wake the computer” option, then click “OK.”
6. While Device Manager is open, disallow any other devices you don’t want to wake up your computer. When done, you will learn how to allow this device to wake the computer. Then you can exit Device Manager.
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Disable Wake Timers and Scheduled Tasks
Scheduling Tasks is another thing that can wake your PC. Some scheduled tasks, such as anti-virus applications that schedule scans, can set a wake-up timer to wake your PC at a specific time to run an application or command. To view a list of wake-up timers on your computer, you can use the prompt control command. You will need to run a command prompt with administrative privileges for this one.
- To do this, press Start, type “command,” and when you see the Command Prompt application, right-click on it and select “Run as administrator.”
2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and then press Enter: powercfg -wake timers
In this example, you can see I have one wake timer—a scheduled task set to check whether I have any large files queued for downloading so that I can have the downloading happen when I’m not using the PC. You have two choices for stopping this: you can disable that specific wake timer or disable all wake timers.
If you want to stop one task from waking your computer, uninstall the app that created the task or adjust the scheduled task settings. In our article, you can read the full instructions for working with scheduled tasks on automatically running programs with the Windows Task Scheduler, but here’s the short version.
A Shorter Version To Allow This Device To Wake The Computer
- Find the task in Task Scheduler,
- Right-click it, and choose “Properties”.
- On the “Conditions” tab in the Properties window, turn off the “Wake the computer to run this task” option.
4. This leaves the scheduled task in place, and if your PC is awake, Windows will run the job. It just won’t wake the PC to do it.
5. You can disable wake timers if you don’t want any programs waking your computer up automatically. Open the Power Options Control Panel app by hitting Start, typing “power options,” and pressing Enter.
6. In the Power Options window, click the “Change plan settings” link next to the plan you use.
7. Click the “Change advanced power settings” link in the next window.
8. Expand the “Sleep” entry, expand the “Allow wake timers” entry below it, and then set the entries below it to “Disabled.”
9. If you’re on a laptop, you’ll see two entries—”On battery” and “Plugged in”—and you can configure these for different settings. If you’re using a desktop PC, you’ll only see one set under the “Allow wake timers” entry, as in this example.
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If you’re using Windows 10, you’ll also have a third option other than just enabling or disabling the wake timer. This option is called “Important Wake Timers Only” and wakes your PC only for major Windows system events like a scheduled restart of your PC outside active hours following a Windows update. You can try setting your wake timers to “Important Wake Timers Only” and see if it solves your problems. If your PC is still waking up more often than you’d like. You can always come back and set wake timers to “Disabled” instead.
Prevent Automatic Maintenance From Waking Your PC
By default, Windows runs automatic maintenance tasks at 2:00 am every night if you’re not using your computer. It’s also set to wake your PC from sleep to run those tasks. These tasks include checking if your hard drive needs defragmenting, running system diagnostics, checking for disk volume errors, etc. They are essential tasks to have run periodically, but if you’d prefer that Windows not wake your PC to do it, you can turn that setting off. We’re using Windows 10 as our example here, but you’ll find the settings in the same place in Windows 8 and 7.
1. In the Control Panel, switch to icon view and open the Security and Maintenance app.
2. On the Security and Maintenance page, expand the “Maintenance” section and then click “Change maintenance settings.”
3. On the Automatic Maintenance page. Turn off the “Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time” option. Of course, you can also set the scheduled time to something you like better if you want.
4. If you turn off Windows’ ability to wake your PC to run maintenance tasks. You should still let it occasionally run those maintenance tasks. It can be done by setting the scheduled time to when you have your PC turned on. You can do it manually as well.
5. Click “Start maintenance” back on the leading Security and Maintenance page.
Sleep is a valuable tool for preserving energy while still keeping your PC immediately available when you need it. While you’ll likely want some devices and some scheduled tasks to be able to wake up your PC. It’s good to know that you have some tools for investigating why it’s waking up and options for stopping it.
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Hello, I am McKenzie and I am totally obsessed with getting the best experience out of every device that I use. Hence, I started this blog to help others make the most of their devices and fix errors in a jiffy! 🙂