How to Fix a Computer that Keeps Waking Up


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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An interesting method to reveal what might be causing unwanted waking is to run
Get-ScheduledTask | where {$_.settings.waketorun}
as admin in PowerShell.

Here's the output from one of my Win10 systems where, as you can see from the states, I've disabled some cuplrits.

Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) 2016 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS C:\> Get-ScheduledTask | where {$_.settings.waketorun}

TaskPath TaskName State
-------- -------- -----
\Microsoft\Windows\.NET Framework\ .NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319... Disabled
\Microsoft\Windows\.NET Framework\ .NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319... Disabled
\Microsoft\Windows\SharedPC\ Account Cleanup Disabled
\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\ Reboot Disabled

My issue is that I don't sleep the computer. I just turn the laptop monitor off with software. Anywhere from one to five minutes later, it turns itself back on. Turning it off a second time sticks. This has happened consistently on four different laptops for years.

I've posted in the forum and never got a response.

You posted on a thread that was over four years old and gave no system details which are always necessary for people to offer assistance. In any case, since you are using a software utility to perform a function on a laptop it was not designed for, only the developer can provide support. MC - Site Manager.

Pc says its the power button turning it on but im not pressing anything! Please help!

We are unable to provide support in the comments sections. Please post your query here in our forum. MC - Site Manager.

Perfect! New HP Computer was driving me nutty with continuous wake ups. HP Customer support remotely disabled startup services, etc. Told me it was most likely an app. It still kept happening. I restored all setting changes, performed an internet search and found your article.

I never knew about the powercfg -lastwake elevated command (which, btw, works fine with Win 10 Command Prompt). lastwake told me that it was, indeed, my network adapter. Went to Properties > Power Management and unchecked the box "Allow this Device to wake the computer" and my problem was solved with one click!

Thanks so much for this very useful information! You've saved more trial-and-error steps and I really appreciate it! :)

My computer kept waking up automatically once I put it to sleep. After researching this in great detail, I came across your website and notice the heading "Stop a network card from waking up the PC". So, I followed your instructions and voila! My computer is now working as it should and I can now put it to sleep (where it will stay asleep) until I am ready for it to wake-up. Thanks for everything.

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, 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?

Open Control Panel; type power options in search and open Power Options; change the setting to High Performance (or a setting that will not allow sleep); when done with the process, like Defender, reverse this to Balanced or the Option of choice.

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. 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, 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've had this happen too, and only with a wireless mouse. I think this is because the receiver for a wireless mouse draws much less power than the laser/LED and image sensor on a wired mouse. So when the computer is in sleep mode, there is just enough power for the receiver to stay active and continue receiving input from the mouse. Clicking OR nudging the wireless mouse causes the receiver to wake up the computer, while only clicking a wired mouse will do so.
Does your mouse have an on/off switch? If so, turning it off may be the key.

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