Imagine this, you’re sleeping in your bed with your laptop on your desk nearby. Suddenly, a bright white flash of light illuminates your room and you realize that your computer has woken up from sleep mode. This irritating dilemma is common for PC & laptop users, and you’ll consistently see people complaining about their computers waking up from sleep mode.
We’re here to present a solution that doesn’t require you to hold down your power button and turn your computer off! Instead, stick with us and read through our guide to see why exactly your computer wakes up in the first place and how you can go about stopping it.
Whether it’s a laptop or a powerful workstation, our tips will undoubtedly help you resolve any issues you may be having. Read on for more!
Reasons Why Your Computer Woke Up From Sleep Mode
If your computer wakes up from its sleep mode consistently, it may be for multiple reasons! There are a wide variety of technical reasons that you can attribute to your computer waking, and we’ll cover the most popular options for why this could happen. Before we tackle those though, there’s a nifty trick you can use to see what was the event that triggered your PC to wake up from sleep was, here’s how:
- To start you’ll need to open your Search bar, and type CMD into it. Choose command prompt drive and it will open up a control panel. Keep in mind you’ll need to run the programs as an administrator to fully access the outputs we’ll be covering.
- Once you’ve opened the panel, type the following into your CMD, “powercfg -lastwake”. This will prompt your computer to give you the cause of its latest sleep issue.
- What the PC outputs will hopefully point to a singular, recognizable issue that you can disable or change advanced power settings but sometimes the sleep problem isn’t as clear.
We’ve listed the top causes that may wake up your PC from sleep:
Certain programs that your computer has will make it wake up from sleep mode. For example, Spotify’s older versions would consistently wake up your Windows PC from sleep automatically. This can easily be fixed by updating the software to the newest version, so ensure your programs are up to date for your PC.
Certain pieces of malware can also be intrusive, which can wake the computer to transfer your data. Running malware detection software is a great of determining if your PC is experiencing the presence of malware.
Another cause that may wake up your PC from sleep is scheduled maintenance. Your PC will schedule tasks and maintenance for it to complete during certain hours, which may interfere with the natural cycle you use your laptop.
Thankfully this can be fixed fairly easily – simply select task scheduler and find the Update Orchestrator within the Windows tab of your task scheduler. Under the Conditions tab, there’s an option to wake the PC to run this program – you’ll want to uncheck that if not already.
Maintenance and updates are one of the most common reasons why your PC wakes up from sleep, so ensure that your software updates are only run when you decide.
Malfunctioning USB Device
A malfunctioning driver or USB device can be the reason why your PC wakes up from sleep, especially so if you have multiple USB devices connected to your laptop. The most common culprits of a malfunctioning USB device are your mouse and keyboard device, although you may employ the use of more USB devices that could cause the issue.
We recommend that you unplug the devices safely, reinstall them, or replace them if they are continuing to give you issues.
4 Ways To Stop Your Computer Waking Up From Sleep Mode
Want some more tips for how you can stop your computer to wake up your PC from sleep mode? We have you covered! If you’re having trouble deciphering what exactly your CMD is telling you or just want to cover your bases to ensure your computer wakes up no longer while you’re trying to get your beauty rest.
Read on to discover our top tips!
Limit Your Network Adapter
Network connectivity issues are a common cause for your PC to wake up. Your ethernet connection is an example of network connectivity issues, and ensure that your network adapter isn’t waking up your PC anytime soon. Here’s how you do it:
- Open your Search bar and type “Device Manager”.
- Once you’ve clicked this, you’ll be able to find your Ethernet connection or Wi-Fi adapter within your Network adapters.
- Right-click on either or both options, choose properties, and open the power management tab of the options.
- The key option you’re looking to uncheck is “Allow this device to wake up the computer”, and you shouldn’t have any issues.
The other option that you can take is to keep that specific box checked, and then select “Only Allow a Magic Packet to Wake the Computer”. This ensures that Wake-On-LAN is the one remaining way to wake your computer up, without any other network activity being able to wake your computer up.
Remove Your Wake Timers
If network adapters aren’t the root of your issue, then it may be the presence of overly strict wake timers. You may be familiar with wake timers when dealing with scheduled tasks that your computer organizes like automatic maintenance within your task scheduler library.
Want to disable wake timers? Here’s how you do it:
- As with some of the other methods we’ve talked about before, you’ll need to use your reliable search bar to type “Edit Power Plan”. Once you’ve navigated to your Power Plan, choose and click on the Advanced Tab.
- From there, head over to Sleep and Allow Wake Timers. You should change both the Battery and Plugged In settings to Disabled.
- Repeat this above step for each of your power plans, even if you’re not using them. Changing your sleep settings like this is great for stopping your computer from waking up.
Use Local Group Policy Editor
There is another, more advanced way to resolve your, “Why does my computer wake up” issue. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to own the Pro version of Windows 10 or 11 to do this.
But if you have the Pro version and are willing to do some deeper investigation into your device, then here’s how you do it:
- Boot up your Local Group Policy Editor. You can do this easily, press Windows + R to run the dialogue box. You can access Local Group Policy Editor by typing it into the bar.
- Once that’s open, you’ll want to navigate to Computer Configuration, then Administrative Templates, then Windows Components, and then Windows Updates.
- You’ll want to double-click on Windows Update Power Management, changing it from enabled and disabled.
There are quite a few advanced power settings and power management settings that can affect your computer’s wake-up times.
Frequently Asked Questions
We often receive quite a few questions again and again about people who are having trouble with their computer waking up from sleep mode every single night. Here are some of the most common questions we’ve received, with answers to match!
Why does my computer keep waking up from sleep mode?
There are quite a few reasons for your computer to wake up from sleep mode consistently. We’ve covered the most common reasons why this might happen, but there are plenty of other things that can affect it.
Apps like Spotify, a malfunctioning driver, and even a virus infection would cause your computer to wake.
Why won’t my computer stay in sleep mode?
If your computer is having trouble staying in sleep mode, or you’re not having the option to put your computer into sleep mode then here’s how you do it.
Navigate to the Settings of your device, and Power & Sleep. From there, make sure to check that your computer’s sleep mode is active. Once it has been activated, you should be able to set it once more.
Is it bad for your computer to sleep?
That depends entirely on if your power adapter or charger is having issues. If your power adapter is experiencing issues, then a power surge or power drop is worse for a computer that is in sleep mode rather than shut off completely.
If you’re asking specifically if it’s better to shut off your computer or put it to sleep instead, then turn your computer to sleep mode if you won’t be using it for more than 20 minutes. Otherwise, shut your computer off completely if you won’t be using it for more than 2 hours.
Hopefully, after our tips and tricks your computer won’t be startling you at random hours of the night. Otherwise, if your laptop is still giving you trouble then we recommend that you take it to your go-to laptop technician to find the elusive issue that is plaguing it.
If you want to read more of our articles, then check out the best motherboards for computer-aided design, the top motherboards for a Ryzen 9 5900x, or even the best budget motherboards that you can get for under $100.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.