How To Keep a Laptop From Sleeping

Chris Campbell07 Mar 2022

When you return to your laptop after a short break, you may feel frustrated to discover it asleep. Even if you don't touch the mouse or keyboard for an extended length of time while watching a movie or giving a presentation, your laptop could unexpectedly go to sleep. Windows has a power-saving feature that kicks in after extended periods of idleness. Windows hasn't worked out yet that your laptop is active while a video stream is playing in the background, particularly if it's not in full-screen mode. While these settings are handy for laptops, there is no reason for you to put up with your laptop sleeping when you're in the middle of using it.

How To Keep a Laptop From Sleeping When Closed

Although your Windows laptop is undoubtedly useful while traveling, you can also turn it into a full workstation at home. A laptop may be used as a desktop by attaching an external keyboard, mouse, and display. But there's a catch: how can you keep the laptop active while it's closed? Whenever you close the lid on your laptop, Windows goes to sleep by default. This implies that even if you don't wish to utilize your laptop screen as a second monitor, you must leave it open for your laptop to stay awake. Fortunately, you can keep your monitor turned on even while your laptop is closed.

Windows has a simple option that allows you to keep your laptop screen on even while the lid is closed. Follow these steps:

  • Find the "Battery" icon in the "System Tray" in the bottom-right corner of the screen. To see all icons, you may need to click the little arrow. Select "Power Options" from the menu that appears when you right-click "Battery."
  • On Windows 10, you can also go to Settings > System > Power & sleep and pick "Additional power settings" from the right menu. If you don't see this link, expand the Settings window by dragging it to the right.
  • Select "Choose what closing the lid does" on the left of the following "Power Options Control Panel" entry. You'll see power and sleep button choices. Change the selection option for "Plugged in to Do Nothing" under "When I Close the Lid."
  • Tap "Save Changes" and you're done.

When you close your laptop screen, your system will resume regular operation. This implies that you may manage it with external devices while keeping the laptop itself hidden. However, keep in mind that once you've made this adjustment, you'll need to utilize the commands on the Start Menu to set your laptop to sleep or shut it down. Another method is to use your laptop's physical power button to shut it off.

How To Keep a Laptop From Sleeping: Windows

If you want to prevent your laptop from sleeping, you may do it using the Windows power settings. This approach will keep your laptop running regardless of how long you are not active on it, meaning you are not using the mouse or pressing the keyboard:

  • Navigate to the "Control Panel" using the search box.
  • Choose "System and Security."
  • Pick "Power Options."
  • Choose Change plan settings next to the setting you've selected.
  • The "Turn off the display" option lets you choose how long the laptop's display stays on, whether it's running on batteries or plugged in. You have the option of specifying a time limit or selecting "Never." 
  • Choose Save Changes.

How To Keep a Laptop From Sleeping: Mac

If you leave your Mac unattended for an extended period, it will enter sleep mode. This helpful little tool assists in energy conservation, but there are situations when it is unhelpful. When you're watching a long movie or downloading a lot of huge files, you may wish to prevent your Mac from napping. Fortunately, it's rather simple to keep your Mac from sleeping.

Disable Sleep Mode Permanently

  • Choose "System Preferences" from the menu that appears when you click the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your screen.
  • Launch "Energy Saver."
  • Find the "Turn display off" after slider in the Energy Saver panel.
  • To prevent your Mac from sleeping permanently, set it to "Never."

Disable Sleep Mode Temporarily

Caffeinate is a Terminal command that will set your Mac into a brief sleep state. This turns off your Mac's sleep mode for as long as the Terminal window is open. Here's how to stop your Mac from napping using Terminal:

  • Select "Application > Utilities" to launch the Terminal app.
  • Type "caffeinate" into Terminal and hit "Enter."

The only difference is that your cursor will move to a new line, and the word caffeinate shall appear in the Terminal window title beside your username. Your Mac will now remain wide awake, exactly as you would after drinking a cup of coffee. Keep in mind, though, that this only works while the Terminal window is open. If you try to shut the window, a warning message will show, asking if you wish to continue. Close the window, and your Mac will sleep according to the Energy Saver settings in System Preferences.

How To Stop a Laptop From Locking When Sleeping

If your laptop goes to sleep after being idle for some time, you may need to enter your password to resume using your laptop. Here's what you can do to prevent this from happening:

  • Choose "Settings" from the "Start" menu.
  • Pick "Accounts."
  • Choose "Sign-in options" from the sidebar, and scroll to the bottom which says "Require sign-in."
  • You'll see "If you've been away, when should Windows require you to sign in again?" In the drop-down box, choose "Never." Now you won't be locked out whenever your laptop goes to sleep mode.

Whenever you step away from your laptop and forgot to switch it off, automatic sleep mode can help you preserve battery life. It's also useful if you want to leave your laptop for a few minutes but don't want to stop all your activities and shut off everything. Nevertheless, automatic sleep mode on your laptop might be bothersome and inconvenient at times, such as when you're attempting to watch a movie or deliver a long presentation. You might not always want the screen to go dark after a few minutes. Fortunately, there are different ways you can turn off sleep mode. Keep these tips in mind and make sure your screen doesn't go napping on you next time!

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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