Want to keep your PC from going into sleep mode at inopportune times and aren’t sure how to do it?
Don’t worry: you’re in the right place.
In this article, I’ll break down how Sleep Mode works, how to disable it entirely, and other power options you may want to take a look at within your Windows Operating System.
Let’s get right into it!
How Does Sleep Mode Work?
First, understand the actual function of Sleep Mode: it’s for saving power.
Sleep Mode basically places everything running on your PC into RAM or a paging file and cuts as much power as possible to everything else in your PC without turning it off outright.
This generally means you can still come back and get right back to whatever you were doing before your PC went to sleep, but Sleep Mode can definitely screw with certain applications, especially hardware-intensive ones like games or editing/rendering software.
Plus, sometimes Sleep Mode just kicks in when you don’t want it to.
Since its activation is mainly based on whether or not you’re using your mouse and keyboard, it can turn itself on when you are actually still using your PC- for example, to watch Netflix or something of the sort.
So, how do you turn it off?
How To Prevent Your PC From Going Into Sleep Mode
The first thing you’ll want to do is open up your Windows Start Menu.
Now, type “Edit power plan”, and hit Enter.
In the resulting window, you’ll find exactly what you were looking for!
I have already set “Turn off the display” and “Put the computer to sleep” to “Never”. Just click the dropdowns to do the same for your active power plan, save changes, and you’re good.
Your PC shouldn’t ever go to sleep anymore under your currently active power plan.
Other Windows Power Options To Look At
You may have noticed in the screenshot above that I’m on the “High performance” power plan.
Yours might say “Balanced” or “Power saver”- what’s the deal with that? Click on Power Options up top, and you’ll be presented with all of your power plan options.
If you’re on a laptop, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using the High-performance profile all the time, but I would still keep Sleep and Turning off the display disabled on that profile.
Use the High-performance power profile when you’re plugged into your charger at home or attached to a laptop docking station.
If you still need sleep or display dimming functionality, it’s best to set it on one of the other power plans, especially Power saver.
I recommend Power saver the most when you’re on actual battery power, or not actively using your PC.
If you’re on a laptop or running on battery power through a UPS (uninterruptible power supply, also known as a backup battery), you should be able to change your active power plan in just a few clicks by interacting with the battery icon in your Windows taskbar.
If you’re on a desktop not using a UPS, you’ll have to open Start as laid out above to get into these settings.
Of course, if you’re on a Laptop or other battery-powered device, it might very well be that Windows will automatically switch power plans to save power when on battery vs. when your Laptop is plugged in.
In that case, make sure you set the “Put the computer to sleep” to “Never” on all power plans you have listed in the Power Options.
How do you fix a PC that randomly turns off?
A similar but significantly worse issue to your PC going into sleep mode when you don’t want it to is your PC turning off entirely at random.
Fortunately for you, I’ve written a detailed guide on the potential causes and fixes for a PC that randomly turns off, so head there if you need help with this one.
If it happens when your PC goes into Sleep Mode and isn’t able to recover properly, the issue is most likely related to your RAM or your Power Delivery in some way.
Head to the full guide for more information on what to do if one of those is the problem.
What happens if a PSU is too weak?
Generally speaking, if your PSU is too weak for your PC in some way, it’s most likely too weak for your graphics card specifically, since the GPU is by far the most power-hungry component in a modern PC build.
CPU comes up next but usually runs far more efficiently, especially when compared to modern high-end GPUs that are pushing 300-400 Watts of TDP and higher.
So, what happens if your PSU is too weak? Most of the time, not much, you’ll just underperform. But check out the full guide linked in that first sentence if you’re concerned, especially if you think you might be dealing with power supply issues.
Over to You
And that pretty much wraps it up.
With this article, you should have a solid understanding of how to prevent your PC from going into Sleep Mode, and how to preserve the functionality whenever it may still be needed by changing your Windows power plans.
If you have any other questions related to PC hardware or PC power management, feel free to leave them in the comments section below or to speak out on the CGDirector Forums, where other team and community members will assist you.
Until then or until next time, have a good one! And remember: Balanced and Power Saver are for people on battery. Use the High-performance power plan when you want to make the most of your PC hardware.