Windows

How do I stop my PC from going to sleep?

stop pc from going to sleep
How to keep your computer wide awake

We’ve all been there: you nip off to make a cup of tea and, lo and behold, your PC or Mac has decided to call it a night. Rather than continually wake it back up again and type in your password, here’s how to stop your PC from going to sleep in the first place. (Or indeed your Mac.)

First, an important caveat. As with humans, if you force your machine to stay awake all of the time, it will eventually get tired. The Mac settings give you a warning to that effect (see below), but it’s worth being cautious with your Windows PC, too. Two or three hours should prevent it from irritatingly switching itself off when you don’t want.

How to stop your PC from going to sleep

To prevent your Windows 10 PC from getting 40 winks, open up the Settings app (the cog above the power button on the Start menu) and click on System.

stop pc from going to sleep

Select “Power & sleep” from the left-hand menu.

Under the Sleep header, set both of the dropdown boxes to your choice of time. Here, we’ve selected Never.

Hey presto, you’ve given your PC the digital equivalent of a quintuple espresso.

How to stop your Mac from going to sleep

For Mac owners, the process is even more straightforward. First, go to System Preferences and click on Energy Saver (the little lightbulb icon). The window below will appear. 

stop mac from going to sleep

If you want to keep your Mac awake all of the time, move the “Turn display off after” slider to Never and then close the window. As you can see from the screengrab above, Apple provides a slightly scary warning that forcing your display to stay on all the time will shorten its life expectancy.

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About the author

Max Figgett

Max has written for numerous websites and magazines over the years. Whether it’s about ancient hardware or software secrets, no Big Tech Question is too obscure for him to tackle.

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  • For Mac users, I’d highly recommend the free program Amphetamine – a quick click and your Mac will stay awake. Click again and it will go to sleep as normal.

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