How to Set Screen Turn Off and Sleep Mode Timeouts on Windows 10 Laptops

On Windows laptops and other PCs, you can set how quickly the display and the whole computer go to “sleep” when you take a break from working on it. This is a kind of a power stand-by feature. It is primarily used to save laptops’ battery life.

For instance, you can set the display to turn off after 3 minutes of inactivity. If you don’t type anything and don’t move the mouse pointer for 3 minutes, the display will be turned off. The same can be applied to the whole laptop computer, which will enter the sleep mode after inactivity period you selected in Windows’ Power & Sleep settings (as shown below). In the sleep mode, the laptop’s display is turned off, while the main internal components “sleep”, with a very low power consumption involved.

On laptop PCs, Windows 10 provides separate timeout times for when the laptop runs on the battery and for when it is plugged into the power source.

Let’s say you want to turn off the display after 3 minutes and put the whole laptop to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity while it is running off the battery. And 30 minutes and 1 hour respectively while the laptop is plugged in. Here’s how to do that.

Go to Settings > System > Power & Sleep. You can reach that window manually via Settings or by typing Power & Sleep in Windows Search (search icon in the lower-left corner of the screen, then click on the Power & Sleep settings search result).

The Power & Sleep window will appear on the screen. Use the drop-down menus to select desired timeout times for the screen and sleep of the whole system.

Windows 10 Power and Sleep - Set Screen and System Timeout Time

On the other hand, some users might actually want to prevent the laptop from turning off the display or entering the sleep mode. In that case select Never on the relevant drop down menus. But, keep in mind that selecting Never on the battery power-related drop-down menus can seriously reduce the battery life.

As a side note, waking up the notebook from the sleep mode may require you to enter your Windows password. This security feature can be disabled in the Sign-in section of Windows Settings as described here.

Another side note: The same display and system sleep timeout settings can be found in the old-fashioned Control Panel (Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings). The easiest way to reach that Control Panel section is to right-click on the battery icon on the taskbar in the lower-right corner of the screen, click on the Power Options item on the menu that will show up and click on the Change plan settings link on the Power Options window.

Written by Dan

On Laptoping, Dan writes about Windows-based laptop, 2-in-1, and tablet PCs.

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