How to Disable Sleep Mode in Windows

Window’s Sleep mode places the computer in a power-saving state from which you can quickly resume work. Resuming is faster than the previously discussed Hibernation mode, but it generally uses more power, because RAM must continually receive energy to maintain data. 

There’s actually several tiers of sleep or sleep-like modes, as described by Khanse of The Windows Club:

  • S0 = Regular mode, no sleep mode in use.
  • Connected Standby State = in Windows 8/10 only, screen-off, everything else on but using minimal power.
  • S1 = CPU off, in standby mode
  • S2 = CPU off without any power, so CPU context and cache are lost
  • S3 = Sleep mode, data saved to RAM, most hardware is off or using minimum power
  • S4 = Hibernation mode, data saved to hard drive, all hardware is turned off
  • S5 = Completely shut down

There actually one final mode, Hybrid mode, that combines sleep and hibernation modes. Basically, this is a redundancy option, mainly designed for desktops. It stores data in RAM and your hard drive simultaneously, so you can recover from power failure. Similar to hibernation, there are security issues at play here, because encrypted data can be saved to the hard drive in unencrypted form. However, If you have hibernation turned off, hybrid mode is also disabled and won’t appear as a Windows option.

This article focuses on sleep mode and how to disable it. In most cases, this isn’t necessary, because sleep mode doesn’t present the same security/privacy concerns as hibernation or hybrid modes. However, it can interfere with some processes. For example, I’ve experienced downloads being halted when entering sleep mode, regardless of other settings I employ, so I just disable it altogether. Plus, I like the ability to close the lid on my laptop and know whatever processes I’m letting run will continue to do so.

1.  Press Win-X to open the Windows 8/10 action menu and select Power Options.
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Alternatively, search the Start menu/screen for “power options” or go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options.

2. Click Change Plan Settings next to whatever power profile you have selected.
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3. Select the Put the Computer to Sleep drop-down menu under the Plugged In column and select Never.
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4. Repeat for the On Battery column.
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Additional notes:

  • Keep in mind battery life will suffer during periods of inactivity.
  • If you’re only concerned with Sleep mode while plugged in, keep Sleep mode on while running from battery. That’s true here and in the later steps. That way, you keep maximum performance while plugged in, but enjoy extended battery life when you’re on the go.
  • If you’re on a computer without a battery, such a desktop, you’ll only see the option to configure Plugged In settings.

5. Click Save Changes.
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Theoretically, you should be done at this point, but I like to make sure. Plus, continuing will enable you to disable Sleep mode when closing the lid or pressing the power button.

6. Click Change Advanced Power Settings.
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7. Expand Sleep > Sleep After > Plugged In and enter 0.
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This ensures there’s no Sleep mode that is triggered after a certain number of minutes.

8. Repeat for the On Battery field.
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Again, keep in mind that preventing Sleep mode while on battery will drain more battery during idle periods than if you allow Sleep mode to run. Keeping Sleep mode enabled while on battery will not effect Sleep settings while plugged in, so you can separately enabled or disable Sleep modes, depending on your current laptop usage.

9. Expand Power Button and Lid  > Lid Close Action > Plugged In and select Do Nothing.
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10. Repeat for the On Battery field.
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11. Likewise, expand Power Buttons and Lid > Power Button Action and select Do Nothing in both the Plugged In and On Battery fields.
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12. Click Apply.
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