Sometimes the PC wakes up at the wrong time – say, right after you put it into hibernation mode. Or it wakes up at random times. It’s especially annoying when the device in your bedroom gets in the way of your sleep. Here’s how to fix the problem.
Find out the reason why the system keeps waking up
This can be done in two ways: quickly – through the command line, and slowly – through the system event log.
From the command line
- Click “Start“, type “Command Prompt” and open it.
- Enter the command:
- Press Enter. The computer will display what brought the system out of sleep last time. This can be a power button press, mouse, keyboard, or network adapter activity.
- There is one more command to clarify what caused the awakening. Type in the line:
powercfg -devicequery wake_armed
And press Enter. All devices that can wake up your computer will appear in front of you.
You can then disable them from bringing the computer out of sleep mode, as we will describe below.
Using the event log
The command line only shows the last event that woke up the computer. This will not help you if the device woke up, say, in the middle of the night, then went back to sleep and you woke it up yourself later in the morning. In this case, you should use the system event log.
- Click “Start“, type “Event Viewer” and open the application you found.
- On the sidebar in it, click “Event View (Local)” → “Windows Logs” → “System“. Right-click “System” and select “Filter Current Log“.
- In the filter window, in the Event Sources drop-down menu, scroll down the list, find PowerTroubleshooter, and select the checkbox.
- Click OK.
- The computer will display all the times the system has been woken up and indicate what caused it. With this information, you can choose which way to fix the problem. However, sometimes the system cannot figure out what woke it up and writes “Unknown ”in the log output of the reason field. Then we recommend trying all the options from the list below and something should definitely help.
Fix sleep mode issues
Check sleep settings
This is the easiest thing to do. Sometimes the computer does not fall asleep when it should because the sleep option was somehow disabled.
Open “Settings” from the “Start” menu and go to “System” → “Power and Sleep“. Make sure that the sleep mode settings from the mains (and also from the battery, if you have a laptop) are not set to “Never“.
If you specify the right time in the parameters, the computer still does not fall asleep or wake up when it should not go through the following steps.
Disable PC wake-up with mouse or keyboard
Usually, the fastest way to wake up a sleeping PC is to press any key on the keyboard or click the mouse. This is more convenient and faster than reaching for the power button.
But if you have, say, a jammed key or a cat walks around your desk, your computer may wake up at inopportune times. Here’s how to disable waking up the PC with USB devices:
- Click “Start” and start typing “Device Manager“. Run the program.
- Find your mouse or keyboard in Device Manager. Right-click on the device and select “Properties“.
- In the menu that appears, uncheck the “Allow this device to wake the computer from Standby mode” box. The mouse and keyboard will now stop waking up your computer.
- By the way, you can uncheck “Allow this device to wake up the PC” in the properties of other USB devices. This is useful if, for example, you want to charge your smartphone from the computer port, but don’t want the PC to wake up.
Disable PC wake-up via network
If your computer is woken up by other devices on the local network, this is indicated in the log by the model name of your network adapter or by labels containing the word Network.
The mechanism is as follows: your PC has, say, a shared folder that you access from a tablet or another computer. The computer goes to sleep, and the other device tries to check the contents of the shared folder and so wakes it up.
This behavior is useful if you have set up your own home server, which should always be available. But in the case of a desktop PC, it is annoying. Here’s how to fix it:
- Click “Start” and type “Device Manager“. Run the program.
- In the “Device Manager” that opens, locate the “Network Adapters” section.
- Look for the one that you use to connect to the Internet.
- In the “Properties” menu, click on the “Power Management” tab. Here you can select different settings depending on your needs.
- If you do not want your computer to wake up at all due to network activity, uncheck the “Allow this device to wake the computer from Standby mode” box. Then click OK.
- And if you need to occasionally wake up your PC over the network, but only with WakeOnLan packages – enable the “Allow to wake your PC from Standby mode only with a magic package” option and click OK. This will stop unnecessary wakes at inopportune times but will keep -WakeOnLan- functionality.
Disable the wake-up timers
The timers activate your computer to perform some action when you are not using it. For example, an antivirus can create a wake-up timer to start a scheduled scan at the right time, run it, and put the system back to sleep. Or, for example, backup programs can do backups, waking up your PC when it’s idle.
Overall, this is not a bad feature if your computer is not constantly supervised. But it can cause many inconveniences when you work on a personal computer. In that case, it is better to turn off the wake-up timers altogether.
- Click “Start” and start typing “Power“. Open “Change the power management scheme“.
- Click “Change advanced power settings“.
- In the window that appears, open the “Sleep” section, then select “Allow wake-up timers“. Under “Value“, select “Disable“.
- Then click OK.
- If you are using a laptop, the system behavior changes depending on whether it is plugged in or running on battery power. From the drop-down menu at the top, select the other power schemes – High Performance, Balanced, and Power Save.
- Disable the wake-up timers and there as above.
Disable automatic maintenance
Windows automatically wakes up each computer at two o’clock every night to install updates, run system diagnostics, perform drive optimization and defragmentation, and so on. However, you can transmit the check-up at any other convenient time:
- Click “Start” and type “Control Panel” (not “Settings”, these are different things).
- In the “Control Panel“, go to the “View” section in the upper right corner and select “Large Icons“.
- In the list that appears, open “Security and Service Center“.
- Expand the Maintenance section by clicking on the arrow to the right, and clicking “Change Maintenance Settings“.
- Specify the time to perform automatic maintenance. Uncheck “Allow the maintenance task to wake up my computer at a scheduled time“.
- After this, the PC will perform diagnostics in the background without disturbing you in the middle of the night.
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