Give Your PC Insomnia. Stop It Going To Sleep.

Windows comes with some default power settings, which force the computer to enter sleep mode if you don't press a key or move the mouse for a few minutes.  Generally speaking, these settings work well.  But sometimes you might need to temporarily prevent the computer from sleeping.  For example, if you're downloading a large file or keeping an eye on a particular web page that keeps refreshing itself automatically.

In such cases, you have 2 choices.  One is to temporarily change the power scheme settings, and then remember to change them back afterwards.  The other is to download a tiny utility called Insomnia, which you can get from

The download is 0.4 MB, and is a Zip file containing 3 versions of the program.  One is the .NET version, which you can safely ignore.  The other 2, which are only 0.08 MB each, are native versions for 32- and 64-bit Windows.  There's nothing to install - just run the .EXE file by clicking on it.  At which point, a window pops up to tell you that your computer is now in insomnia mode, and won't go to sleep while that window is open.  It's as simple as that. 

When you've finished watching that web page, or downloading that file, just close the Insomnia window and your computer will return to its normal sleep pattern.


My thanks to Panzer for telling me about this useful utility.



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by Zeus36 (not verified) on 20. October 2011 - 20:25  (81798)

Caffeine is a must have for me. Works great during presentations.

by Hunner (not verified) on 16. March 2011 - 12:24  (67992)

Conversely, I have the OPPOSITE problem. Our fleet of XP PCs WON'T sleep.
Does anyone know of software that can show the idle countdown to screensaver and other powersave options and (most importantly) show what process is resetting this counter?
We've used IdleMonitor However this only shows the time since no keyboard or mouse input has been detected.
Any suggestions?

by mb1280 (not verified) on 26. November 2012 - 15:58  (102940)

Un-install any unsigned drivers, and get the updated version if necessary / if possible

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In Win XP Pro, To Verify Unsigned Device Drivers

Start \ Run \ sigverif \ OK
Advanced \ [dot] Look for other files that are not digitally signed \ Look in this folder: Windows \ system32 \ drivers
Logging tab \ [check] Save the file signature verification results to a log file \ OK \ Start
Advanced \ Logging tab \ View log

You can move them from "system 32 \ drivers" to another folder you create (for backup purposes), ie:
C: \ Windows \ system32 unsigned drivers
Then Restart . . .

Take a look in the Device Manager and look for yellow exclamation points ... View \ Show hidden devices

Option 1: XP might auto-install a driver for you
Option 2: Look for updated drivers on your computer manufacturer's web site

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You can also see them in:

Accessories / System Tools / System Information / Software Environment / Signed Drivers / click on the "Signed" column header to sort

I see that this no longer exists in Win 8 Pro - I don't think Win 8 will let you install an unsigned driver, for a reason just like this.

by mUrAt (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 19:13  (67920)

Doesn't quite work for me. But the functionality of DontSleep does. Thanx bearbottoms

by Delay (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 18:53  (67919)

One nice thing about the .NET version of Insomnia is that it will run on Windows XP (assuming .NET 3.5 or later is available) whereas the native 32- and 64-bit versions do not at present (due to missing APIs on XP).

Thanks for the kind words, by the way - I hope this helps!

by Delay (not verified) on 24. March 2011 - 6:27  (68476)

Just wanted to leave a quick note that I've updated the native-code 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Insomnia to work on Windows XP.

More information:


by MidnightCowboy on 24. March 2011 - 6:51  (68477)

Thanks for informing us which is appreciated :)

by Consternation (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 15:35  (67912)

Will any of these prevent a laptop from hybernating if the battery gets too low?

by AllanM (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 18:28  (67918)

I don't think anything could prevent hibernation when the battery becomes low enough to cause hibernation to kick in. The OS will just hibernate anyway, inactivity lockout or sleep mode is preventing a computer from locking or sleeping based on user inactivity.

I wrote my own version of these a while ago using AutoIt, not hard to do. Mine does not need a window to be kept open, just takes a parameter (the number of minutes) or reads the lockout time defined in the registry then sits in the system tray and within 60 seconds of lockout if there has been no mouse or keyboard activity it jiggles the mouse then puts it right back where it was.

by Snert (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 13:58  (67907)

Hey, I'd like to thank all of you for these!
I'll try all and pick what suit me.

by Zero Click (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 13:51  (67906)

"(...) if you're downloading a large file (...)"

Free Download Manager has an option to prevent PC to sleep when downloads are active.

by Dave Leeds (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 13:11  (67903)

Similar functionality with "Caffeine" which I have used for the last year or so. Very small and also requires no installation. It just sits in the tray, which might be preferable for some situations. Lots of switches are available too, if you need more control like limiting how long the PC will stay awake.

by Duidelike Dave (not verified) on 14. March 2011 - 14:23  (67908)

I too can vouch for Caffe1ne. Nice tray icon of a cup of coffee when it's active. I've never had any problems with this.

by bearbottoms on 14. March 2011 - 10:12  (67897)

Don't Sleep is a small portable program to prevent system shutdown, Standby, Hibernate, Turn Off and Restart. Especially when old Programs run on Windows-7 or Windows Vista. Here's more aggressive power-saving features with new rules. But not only that, it also prevents login off the computer, and the deactivation of the monitor or activation of the screen saver. Of course you can also manually disable all the options and then activate again. Don't Sleep has a timer that allows time control unblock, or shutdown the computer for a specified time. Runs in the system tray with nice options. Portable. Size: 24 KB. Win 98/2000/2003/2005/XP/Vista/7 32/64bit/.

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