How to Fix a Computer that Keeps Waking Up

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Computer sleep imageNot too long ago I bought a new desktop PC. Whenever I put it to sleep, in no time flat it was awake again. A little research revealed that this is not an uncommon problem and can have several possible sources. Malware infections are sometimes the cause but more often it is some device that is waking the machine up and that was the case for me. In this tip, I will describe several settings in your system that may keep waking up your PC. The discussion is for Windows Vista/7. You will generally need administrator privileges to make system changes.

Update 08/07/15: Instructions for Windows 8.1/10 are quite similar and have been added.

Stop the mouse from waking up the PC

Mice, especially, wireless mice, can sometimes wake the PC up. In fact, there is a specific setting to allow this. If the mouse turns out to be a problem, you can change the setting with this procedure:

  1. Open the Start menu and type “mouse” (without quotes) in the Search bar
  2. Under the Control Panel list, click “Mouse” (or just press Enter in Vista)
  3. In the dialog box that opens, select the tab “Hardware”
  4. Highlight the entry for your mouse and click the button “Properties”
  5. A new dialog will open. Click the button “Change settings”
  6. In the new dialog that opens, click the tab “Power Management”
  7. Remove the check by “Allow this device to wake the computer”
  8. Click “OK” and close the dialogs.

Added: The mouse properties dialog is the same in Windows 8.1/10. Here is one way to access the mouse settings:

  1. Right-click the Start button
  2. Select "Control Panel" from the context menu
  3. Enter "mouse" in the Control Panel search box
  4. Click "Mouse" in the list that opens
  5. The mouse dialog  box will open
  6. Proceed the same as indicated above from step 3 on

Stop a network card from waking up the PC

From what I read, a network card is the most common source of wake-up problems and that was the cause of my own computer never staying asleep. Here is how to configure a network card:

  1. Open Device Manager. There are many ways to do this but a quick way is to enter “dev” (without quotes) in the Start search bar and click “Device Manager”
  2. Expand the list for “Network adapters”
  3. Right-click the adapter to be configured and choose “Properties”. There may be several adapters, one for Ethernet, one for wireless, and others like Bluetooth
  4. In the dialog that opens, click the tab “Power Management”
  5. Remove the check by “Allow this device to wake the computer”
  6. Click “OK” and close up Device Manager

Added: Device Manager remains the same in Windows 8.1/10. To access it:

  1. Right-click the Start button
  2. In the context menu, select "Device Manager"
  3. Proceed as given above from step 2 on

Scheduled tasks , updates, and other causes

Sometimes a task or Windows Update is scheduled for a specific time and will wake up the computer. Dealing with these and other possibilities are discussed at this link.

Use the command line to find what causes the PC to wake up

One way to find out what is causing a wake-up problem is provided by the command line. Open a command prompt with elevated privileges and enter this command:

    powercfg –lastwake

The last device that woke up the system will be shown.

To find out which devices are enabled to wake up the PC, enter this command

    powercfg -devicequery wake_armed

These commands are the same in Windows 7 on up through Windows 10.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's and tutorials, including  a computer education website and a site for learning about the command line.

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Comments

Just FYI: For Windows 10, I had to change the command to powercfg /lastwake in order for it to work. It showed a one but when I entered the command to see which device it was, it showed NONE!

Windows 8.1 Pro w/WMC: Woke me at 3:00 AM daily. Followed your advice. Had to check command line at instant it happened to get useful result. Found WMC intruding for "maintenance". Reset Notifications, both WMC times to 9:00 AM. After years, problem solved.

Keep the kitten off the keys. {grin}

So when I go into my network adapter properties I disable the permission to start computer and I click okay. Then if i go back in the boy is checked again. But when I change something else it sticks. How do I disable it and not have it enable itself?

Unfortunately, we can't give this type of individual support in the comments. If you post your problem in the forum at http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/general-computer-support/, there will be knowledgeable people to help you.

What about the opposite problem where Windows Defender is running but the Win 7 laptop goes to sleep before Defender is done? How do I keep it running until Defender is done?

Is the laptop going to sleep or just turning the screen off? Have you tried running Defender while the laptop is plugged in to a power source?

To your questions: I keep the laptop plugged in when running Defender because it takes quite a few hours to do all the drives. And it goes to sleep and the screen turns off. Thanx for any help you can give me.

Try a free program called Insomnia, which keeps the computer awake when it would otherwise sleep.

I'd include a link, but the site flags it as spam. Search on insomnia lifehacker.

Actually, insomnia lifehacker doesn't work (sorry). Try insomnia lifehacker download.

My System Is Showing Processor thermal Trip warning on every Start up. Please tell me how to fix this issue.

As Vic states below we are only able to respond to support requests in the forum. There is however a lot of information about this already on the web. This is just a selection of possibilities. https://communities.intel.com/thread/52119 https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/111888-warning-processo... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/306971-28-processor-thermal-trip I suggest you research this yourself using Google if none of the above are helpful as the solution for your own issue is pretty much guaranteed to have been posted somewhere already. MC - Site Manager.
Unfortunately, we can't give this type of individual support in the comments. If you post your problem in the forum at http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/general-computer-support/, there will be knowledgeable people to help you.

I have this problem. It is definitely the mouse that is responsible, but I have disabled waking for all the mice, keyboards and HID devices listed in the Device Manager and it still wakes up when I touch the mouse. I have also made sure that all the wake-by-mouse and wake-by-keyboard options are disabled in my BIOS setup. I have a Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard, if that makes any difference. What else can I do?

Is it only when you move the mouse that the PC wakes up? I am not sure why that would be a problem unless the PC wakes up when you are not there. Did you check the settings in the Logitech software? Otherwise, I don't have an answer to your problem but maybe another member can help.

Yes, it's when I move the mouse. I have a very cramped desk and I'm often accidentally nudging it. The only software available is the Logitech Connection Utility, which isn't relevant.

I thought it was the mouse waking from sleep but found after disabling the mouse that even if I move the mouse it still wakes even though the -lastwake command was showing the keyboard doing it. Guess I'll just unplug the mouse for now.

Thanks a lot.i have also had this problem & this guide help me to fix it. Couldn't find a cure for this until now.

Mine was the mouse that keeps the pc waking everytime.

Thanks again.

My HP started waking from sleep mode after I downloaded some Realtek ethernet control drivers at the suggestion of HP. Tried everything I knew, then found this help from v.laurie. Turned out to be the internet adapter just as indicated above. Problem solved! Big help for this novice. Thanks.

After having problem with sleep mod waking up right after starting it, this guide help me fix it.
My network card was the reason, no idea why since it has not been a problem before.

When I used "powercfg –lastwake" in cmd, I got this message "invalid parameters", but it seem to work with "powercfg /lastwake" and also "powercfg lastwake"

Thanks for help :)

Thanks for the help. My pc started to wake up on its own a couple of weeks ago. Looked for virus but didn't help, so I took to turning it off whenever I wasn't using it, which was a complete pain.

I've now unticked the "allow wake-up etc." on the mouse power management and that seems to have worked fine. Why it should have suddenly decided to act in this way after I've had the mouse for over a year, I don't know but following your advice has certainly saved me a lot of anticipated aggro from now on.

Thanks again

I am going crazy... nothing helped in that list.. my computer wakes up every night at about 3 oclock and I don't know why. I disabled the automatic updates, checked the schedule, checked for possible hardware... checked for viruses.. this is a windows problem because I once left my computer in standby using linux and it stayed off.