9 Ways to Fix Computer Keeps Going to Sleep Problem in Windows

9 Ways to Fix Computer Keeps Going to Sleep Problem in Windows

Sleep mode in Windows helps conserve energy by putting your computer into a low-power condition when you’re not using it. But what happens if your computer keeps randomly going to sleep even when you don’t want it to? This guide lists the best methods to eliminate this issue.

Why Does This Keep Happening?

Several factors could cause sleep problems on Windows. As a result, you need to follow the following instructions one by one until the issues are gone. The primary reasons this happens are as follows:

  1. Misconfigured settings – your computer has various power settings you can adjust depending on your priorities. If you accidentally misconfigure these settings, they can force your computer to behave strangely.
  2. Outdated graphics – users must keep all system drivers up to date, including the graphic software. Outdated graphics could turn off your screen, making you think the computer keeps going to sleep.
  3. Screensaver configurations – sometimes when you change the theme in Windows, screensaver settings change without your consent, leading to a reduced timeout period.
  4. Battery issues – faulty power components, including batteries, can trigger unwanted settings, such as putting your device in Sleep mode when the computer becomes idle.

Before applying the below fixes, make sure that you’ve updated your Windows PC to the latest available build.

1. Run the Power Troubleshooter

One of the first things to try is running the built-in Power Troubleshooter that scans various parts of your operating system and fixes the issues it detects.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings.”
Opening Settings from Start menu in Windows.
  1. Click on “System -> Troubleshoot.”
"Troubleshoot" option in Settings.
  1. Choose “Other troubleshooters” on the following page.
"Other troubleshooters" option in Settings.
  1. Scroll to the “Power” option and click “Run.”
Run the "Power" troubleshooter.
  1. Wait for the process to finish. If the troubleshooter issues a recommendation, press “Apply the fix.”

Tip: read on to learn about a number of hidden Windows 11 features for power users.

2. Check Your Power Settings

Windows comes with adjustable power settings. However, if you’ve accidentally set your computer to go to sleep after a short time period has elapsed, your device will keep doing so when you’re not expecting it.

  1. Click on the Start menu, type “Control Panel,” and press Enter.
Type "Control Panel" in Windows Search.
  1. Type “Power Options” into the search bar and open the result that appears.
"Power Options" in Control Panel.
  1. Select the “Choose when to turn off the display” option on the left.
"Choose when to turn off the display" option in Power Options.
  1. Change all the settings to “Never” and click “Save changes.”
"Turn off the display" and "Put the computer to sleep" options in Power Options.

3. Remove the Laptop Battery

If your device keeps going to sleep while it’s running on battery, try removing it (if the laptop supports it) using the manufacturer’s instructions. You can reinstall it and test whether the issues are solved. For laptops that don’t have a removable battery, you may need to contact a technical assistant to replace your battery and check for further problems.

4. Disable the Screen Saver

Previously, screensavers helped prevent damage to old monitors, but they don’t play such an essential role anymore. Your screensaver settings might actually be to blame for putting the computer to sleep sooner than it should. Follow the steps below to reverse the situation:

  1. Click on the Start menu, type “Control Panel,” and press Enter.
  2. Type “Turn screen saver on or off” into the search bar and open the results that appears.
No screensever settings.
  1. Pick “None” from the drop-down menu, then click “Apply -> OK.”
Turning off screensaver.

Good to know: check out these beautiful 4K backgrounds for your Windows PC.

5. Use Windows Default Theme

Windows comes with several themes that allow you to customize the way your computer looks. However, it’s best to switch back to the default theme to ensure you’re not experiencing any unwanted troubles.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings.”
  1. Navigate to “Personalization” and open “Themes.”
Accessing "Themes" from Settings.
  1. Click on the default Windows theme to activate it.
Switch to the default Windows theme.
  1. Move to the following method if it doesn’t take care of the issue.

6. Modify Sleep Timeout via Registry

If nothing has worked so far, try changing your PC’s system unattended sleep timeout period. This option is hidden by default, so you’ll need to go through the Registry Editor to add it.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open Run.
  2. Type regedit and select “OK.”
Type "regedit" in the Run window.
  1. Confirm the “User Account Control” prompt.
"Allow app to make changes to your device" pop-up.
  1. Paste the following address into the navigation bar and double-click “Attributes”:
Finding value in Registry Editor.
  1. Change the “Value Data” to 2, click “OK” and close the Registry Editor.
Changing value data.
  1. Click on the Start menu, type “Control Panel,” and open the result that appears.
Type "Control Panel" in Windows Search.
  1. Type “Power Options” into the search bar and open the result that appears.
Search for "Power Options" in Control Panel.
  1. Select “Change plan settings” from the following window.
"Change plan settings" in Power Options.
  1. Open the “Change advanced power settings” window.
Clicking on "Change advanced power settings."
  1. Expand the “Sleep” tab, change the value for “System unattended sleep timeout” to something longer, then click “Apply -> OK.”
Change "System unattended sleep timeout" option.

Tip: SysMain is a system process that can decrease your boot time in Windows. Fortunately, it’s safe to disable it.

7. Disable Fast Startup

Windows Fast Startup is a feature that allows faster boot-ups by hibernating your files. Disabling this feature could help resolve the issue of your computer going to sleep.

  1. Click on the Start menu, type “Control Panel,” and press Enter.
  2. Input “Power Options” into the search bar and open the result that appears.
Searching for"Power Options" in Control Panel.
  1. Select the “Choose what the power buttons do” option on the left.
"Choose what the power buttons do" option in Power Options.
  1. Click on the “Change settings that are currently unavailable” link.
"Change settings that are currently unavailable" option.
  1. Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” and click “Save changes.”
Disable "Turn on fast startup."

If you’re only seeing this issue when your PC is connected to an external TV source, you can bring up the Projection Menu and try to change the projection mode.

  1. Press the Windows + P buttons on your keyboard.
  2. Change the projection option to “Extend” or “Second Screen Only.”
"Projection Menu" in Windows.

9. Check the Compatibility of Attached Devices

Incompatible hardware could result in various issues, including problems with the computer randomly going to sleep. In this sense, it’s essential to keep all of your drivers up to date and uninstall incompatible devices to improve your device’s overall status.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select “Device Manager.”
  1. Expand the branch of the device you want to check, right-click on it, and choose “Properties.”
Open "Properties" for hardware in Device Manager.
  1. If the status reads “This device is working properly,” there are no issues with the hardware.
"This device is working properly" status view in device properties.
  1. If it says otherwise, try uninstalling the hardware to resolve the issues.

Good to know: learn how to install unsigned drivers in Windows.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I keep my computer awake without changing settings?

You can utilize third-party software, such as Mouse Jiggler or Caffeine to keep your computer awake. These programs simulate mouse movement or key presses to prevent the device from going to sleep. Although this method doesn’t fix the problem, it’s the most straightforward approach to bypass the issue.

Can I completly disable Sleep mode?

BIOS allows users to adjust advanced configurations, including power settings on the PC. Restart the computer, press the BIOS key set by your manufacturer, navigate to “Power Management,” and select “Block Sleep” using the arrow buttons on your keyboard.

Alternatively, use the command line to achieve the same result. Right-click on the startup menu and select “Windows Terminal (Admin),” type powercfg.exe /hibernate off, then press Enter.

What is the difference between Sleep mode and Shutdown in Windows?

When restarting a PC, the RAM clears, and Windows system files recheck again. However, when the PC goes to sleep, it just turns off the screen, then parks the disk drive in that current situation. If you want to find out which one is better, check out our Sleep mode vs. Shutdown comparison.

Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Farhad Pashaei.

Farhad Pashaei
Farhad Pashaei

As a technophile, Farhad has spent the last decade getting hands-on experience with a variety of electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, and so on.

When he isn’t writing, you can bet he’s devouring information on products making their market foray, demonstrating his unquenchable thirst for technology.

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