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Change power and sleep settings in Windows 10

Learn how to change the power and sleep settings in Windows 10 on both desktop and laptop computers. A detailed guide with a couple of simple steps. Discover how easy it is!
Change the power and sleep settings in Windows 10

Most Windows 10 users have found they need to change their Power & Sleep settings. Luckily though, this is an easy process. You will see all the steps you need to take to change power and sleep settings in Windows 10 below, and review all the available options in the Power Plan section.

  1. Open the power options in Windows 10.
  2. Change sleep settings on a desktop.
  3. Change the sleep and power settings on laptops.
  4. Change the advanced power settings.
  5. Create a custom power plan.

Open the Power Options to view the Windows 10 power and sleep settings

Windows 10 power and sleep settings - open Power Options
Windows 10 power and sleep settings - open Power Options
  1. If you are on a laptop, click the battery icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. Click on Power Options in context menu that is displayed to open the Power Options settings.
  3. Click Change plan settings to change when your display and computer go to sleep. In this example, we'll change the Presentation plan.
Windows 10 power and sleep settings - Change plan settings
Windows 10 power and sleep settings - Change plan settings

Change the sleep settings on a desktop running Windows 10

If you are on desktop computer, you will not be able to see the battery symbol. However, you can still access and change the power and sleep settings in Windows 10.

  1. Click the Windows start button.
  2. Select Power Options from the top of the menu that appears.
Power Options Windows 10
Windows 10 power options on a desktop

To make the screen or display sleep, select a time from the drop down under Screen. To make the computer go to sleep, select a time from the drop down under Sleep.

Change power and sleep settings in Windows 10 on a desktop
Change power and sleep settings in Windows 10 on a desktop

Change the sleep settings in a Windows 10 power plan on a laptop

Now that you have opened the settings for your normal Windows 10 power plan, you can change when the display and the computer go to sleep.

Windows 10 power and sleep settings - set times for the display and computer to go to sleep
Windows 10 power and sleep settings - set times for the display and computer to go to sleep
  1. Click the drop-down box next to Turn off the display and set a time after which you want the display to sleep when your laptop is on battery power.
  2. Set a time in the drop down box next to Put the computer to sleep. Note: If your computer is doing something at that time, like downloading a file, this may be stopped when it goes to sleep.
  3. When your laptop is plugged in, it's less important to put your display or computer to sleep. But if you want to do this, set a time in the drop down boxes in the second column under Plugged in.

Advanced power settings under Windows 10

To see the advanced power settings when you are on a desktop, click on the Additional power settings link on the right-hand side of the Power Options dialog. If you are on a laptop, open the advanced settings from the power plan settings screen: Click on the Change advanced power settings link.

Navigating to Advanced Power Settings
Change sleep settings in Windows 10 on a laptop - open the advanced power settings

In the dialog that appears, you can change the sleep and power settings that are used in the default plans.

  1. Click the drop down list to view the different default plans. Select the one you want to change.
  2. Click on the little plus symbol to expand each item and then edit the settings.For example, if you want to turn off your hard disk after 10 minutes when you are running on battery power: Click the plus symbol next to Hard disk, then the plus symbol next to Turn off hard disk after. Then use the up and down arrows or type in a different number in the field next to On battery (Minutes).
Advanced Power Settings
Step 4. Changing Advanced Power Settings

Click OK to save your changes, or Cancel to undo your changes. You can also click Restore plan defaults to reset all changes back to their default settings. Make sure you click Apply to apply any changes you have made if this is your currently selected power plan.

What are the default sleep and hibernate settings in Windows 10?

On every Windows 10 computer there are three default sleep and hibernate plans. Those are:

  • Balanced Plan - This is the default plan that Windows 10 is set to. It will satisfy the needs of 99% of users.
  • High-Performance Plan - If you want to push your system performance to the maximum, this is the setting you should choose.
  • Power Saver Plan - This is a great power-saving plan for laptops. It optimizes brightness and manages the CPU speed to reduce energy expenditure.

Beside these default sleep and hibernate settings, you can customize and make your own power plan. It is quite simple.

Create a custom sleep and power plan in Windows 10
Create a custom sleep and power plan in Windows 10
  1. From Power Options, click on Create a power plan in the left-hand panel of the dialog.
  2. Base your custom power plan on an existing plan - select the one that is closest to your goal.
  3. Enter a name for your plan in the Plan name field.
  4. Then click Next.
    Create a custom power plan in Windows 10
    Create a custom power plan in Windows 10
  5. Now, set the times for when to put the display to sleep and the computer to sleep when it is on battery power and when it is plugged in. Then click Create.
Set sleep times in your custom power plan in Windows 10
Set sleep times in your custom power plan in Windows 10

Difference between hibernation and sleep mode

While they do similar things, hibernation and sleep mode are slightly different.

  • Sleep Mode - While in sleep mode, your computer's Windows state, including open programs, files, and other data, is stored in RAM memory. When you turn on your computer, everything is immediately loaded from RAM and there is no need to wait for the computer to boot up.
  • Hibernation - This mode works differently. The state of your Windows system is saved to the computer's regular drive (HDD or SSD). When you turn on your computer, this information is loaded, and you can continue working where you left off.

Hibernation uses much less power than sleep mode, as more computer components are completely shut down. However, it takes a bit more time for the to wake from hibernation than wake from sleep.

Choose what your laptop does when you close its lid in Windows 10

You can choose what the Power Button on your laptop or closing the lid does with your computer's state when it is running on battery power or when it is plugged in. From the Power Options dialog, in the left-hand column, click on Choose what the power buttons do and Choose what closing the lid does to change these settings.

Change sleep and power plan settings in Windows 10 - power and sleep buttons
Change sleep and power plan settings in Windows 10 - power and sleep buttons

Click each drop down next to the actions on the left to choose whether you want it to do nothing, sleep, hibernate, shut down or simply turn off the display. There are many more advanced tweaks you can make to your sleep and power settings in Windows 10: Take a look at the guide from the official Microsoft support forum to learn about all the  settings information.  

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