How to Keep Windows 10 Laptop Running with Closed Lid (2019)

Sometimes you want to keep your Windows 10 laptop running while it is closed. For instance, when you connect a laptop to an external monitor and don’t want to use the notebook’s own display. Or, if don’t want to interrupt an ongoing file download, but for some reason you need to close the lid. Or if you want to continue an online audio streaming with the laptop closed.

Here’s how to keep your Windows 10 laptop on with the lid closed. It’s simple:

Click on the magnifier (Search Windows) icon in the lower left corner of the screen. The Windows search box will show up. Type “closing” in it. A “Change what closing the lid does” option will show up in the search results. Clicking on the result will take you to a relevant section of Windows Control Panel (Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\System Settings).

Keep Windows 10 Laptop Powered On with Lid Closed

There you just need to change settings of the “When I close the lid” option. It’s usually set to “Sleep”, since that’s the default choice. If you select “Do nothing” from the list, your laptop will be prevented from going to “Sleep” or other inactive modes. It will continue to work normally when you close the notebook. You can have separate “When I close the lid” settings for the laptop running on battery and while plugged in a power outlet. After changing the settings, click on the “Save changes” button.

How to Keep Windows 10 Laptop On with Closed Lid

As a side note, the same option can be used to put a Windows laptop in hibernation mode or to shut it down completely when you close the lid.

Choosing “Do nothing” will prevent your computer from going into sleep, hibernation, and from shutting down. Its built-in display will be turned of, of course. In case when you have an external monitor connected to the laptop, Windows 10 display settings will change automatically to enable use of the external screen when the notebook is closed.

8 thoughts on “How to Keep Windows 10 Laptop Running with Closed Lid (2019)”

  1. Daniel,

    Do you know a way to keep the screen from turning off when the lid of a Win 10 2019 laptop is closed.

    The issue is I’m using Teamviewer and when the screen goes dark Teamviewer is no longer sent any video data from the laptop and the remote screen freezes.

    I have gone into Lid controls and set everything to Do Nothing and the video screen still turns off at about a 5º angle from closed and then my remote Teamviewer screen freezes. I open the laptop lid and everything on my remote screen returns to normal. This used to to work ok with Win7 on the same laptop.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is possible to keep a laptop’s built-in display on with the lid closed. It looks like it isn’t possible, at least not by using Windows Settings. But even if you find out how to keep the display on with closed lid, it is questionable whether it is a good idea to do that because of heat produced by the screen and internals while being so close to each other.

      • Hey Dan, so I just tried out this feature and whilst it worked, the frequency lowered from 60Hz to 30Hz in my external display. How can that be changed?

  2. Even changing these settings to what you said seems to work while my laptop is idle. The second I start playing a game on my external monitor and close the lid, it goes to sleep. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    • Do you know if the power plan changes in Control Panel\System and Security\Power Options when you run games? It’s possible that there are separate power plans on your system, such as Balanced and Performance, with separate settings for choosing what closing the lid does. So you have to choose “Do nothing” for the plan you use while gaming, probably Performance, as opposed to the basic Balanced.

      The how to guide I wrote above was written for a single power plan. I should probably add a note about changing the settings for each separate plan if there are more than one plan.

  3. How do I keep my laptop with Windows 10 on-line? I want to use remote-access software to access my laptop, and the software keeps saying my ‘home’ laptop is offline.

    • I don’t know details about your remote access software and laptop setup, but to access the laptop remotely you generally need:
      – remote access software up and running on the laptop you want to access,
      – the laptop and Windows 10 up and running (and of course connected to Internet).
      Make sure the laptop is always on by preventing the laptop to go to “sleep” mode. In the Windows Search box, type “power”. Then select “Power & sleep settings” item. There you have option to set “PC goes to sleep after…”. Select “Never”.
      I hope this helps.


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