You sit down at work and start-up Word or you launch your favorite game — only to find your screen has gone black. Why is this happening? Is there something wrong with your computer? Are you tired of staring at the black monitor when it goes to sleep? If so, read further…you might be able to save yourself some headache if you know why your computer goes into sleep mode when you use it.
While sleep mode can help conserve power, sometimes computers will go asleep regardless of whether they need to or not. This may happen due to an issue with your display settings (which we’ll get to below), but it could also be caused by malware. We’ll show you exactly what causes your computer to turn off its display when you try to open programs, as well as how to stop it from doing so automatically next time you boot up.
In any case, let’s take a look under the hood first.
Why Does My Computer Go To Sleep?
Most modern operating systems have pretty smart battery management features designed to make sure nothing runs amiss and the sleep feature is one of them. For example, macOS Sierra introduced “Low Power Mode” which turns off unnecessary background processes to reduce overall energy drain. It still allows apps like Mail to run, though. So even if your laptop isn’t running low on charge, it may still choose to shut itself down to preserve power.
Windows’ own system-wide Low Battery Notification appears every few minutes and shows you how much charge remains before shutting down. In fact, many laptops now don’t even allow users to manually switch into hibernation mode unless it detects a critical amount of remaining power. That said, you can always force shutdown manually via File Explorer’s View tab.
What about desktop PCs, though? Many of them simply aren’t programmed to give enough warning before turning off. The best way to check is to disable automatic sleep modes and see what happens. Some monitors do this too, making it difficult to tell what’s causing your problem. Even if your display doesn’t automatically enter sleep mode, it could be set to dim after 5 seconds anyway.
Also worth noting: Macs won’t go to sleep unless you specifically request it. They’ll just close applications. Still, if yours ever shuts down unexpectedly, follow these steps to troubleshoot sleep issues.
So why does your monitor say it’s turned off when it clearly isn’t? Read on…
Is Your Monitor in Sleep Mode or Displaying Black Screens? Check Windows 10’s Power Settings
The easiest way to figure out what’s causing your monitor to go to sleep is to inspect its current settings. Press Win + Pause to bring up the Action Center, then click More actions ” Change plan settings. Switch over to the System category. Under Power Options, select Choose what the power buttons do. On older versions of Windows, you’ll want to head straight for Shutting down/restarting/logging off options and ensure Hibernate is unchecked.
Once you’ve confirmed what those choices mean, press Apply followed by OK. Now restart your machine. If your monitor continues to go to sleep, consult the following sections for fixes.
You should also check the monitor settings, usually monitors come with some buttons underneath or on the sides, go through its settings and try to find the settings regarding hibernation or sleep mode or power-saving mode as these are usually the settings that make it go to sleep.
Quick Fixes for When You Can’t Wake Up a Sleeping PC
As mentioned previously, check the power settings to make sure you don’t have Sleep mode enabled. If that wasn’t the case then look for the settings in your monitor.
Another option is to force your windows to stay awake by modifying the registry or using third-party software. Forcing Windows to stay awake longer requires third-party software called NoSleep.
How to Prevent A Computer From Going Into Sleep Mode Automatically on Startup
Even after performing the above solutions, your computer may continue to go to sleep automatically. Fortunately, there’s a simple method to prevent Windows from putting your computer to sleep during startup. Head to Start Menu ” Administrative Tools ” Services. Scroll down until you spot wuaserv.exe. Right-click on it and choose Properties. Select Advanced services settings. Disable both Automatic Start and Auto Launch and click Stop. Finally, double-check that the Service status is Running. Reboot once more and hopefully, your computer shouldn’t have this issue anymore.
If disabling sleep timer functionality didn’t solve your problem, you may have an app interfering with the power or battery-saving modes.
To rule out other potential causes, uninstall anything else that claims to control power settings. Also try removing non-essential drivers, especially ones related to displays, graphics cards, and USB ports. Sometimes they interfere with proper functioning. If none of these methods work, consider resetting your computer to factory defaults.
Have you solved the mystery yet? Let us know what happened in the comments. Good luck!
John has been a gamer since the early age of 7, playing a huge variety of single-player games, and MMOs, and even participating in LAN Tournaments for FPS games such as Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Ever since he found his passion in gaming & in technology in general, he has continuously increased his knowledge in software, programming & hardware and is now working at TechReviewTeam helping readers, answering questions, writing articles & reviews for the team.