Hardware Laptops

Why does my Dell laptop turn on when opening the lid?

dell laptop displaying pexels webpage
Lifting the lid: Dell laptops now power up when you open them (Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com)

Laptop manufacturers are constantly finding ways to get us connected faster. Dell has accelerated the startup process in a way which could be disconcerting if you’re not expecting it, but don’t panic! We’ll explain why your Dell laptop turns on when opening the lid.

What is ‘Power on Lid Open’

I’m unsure if nominative determinism can be applied to computer functions but it hasn’t stopped Dell from trying. Power on Lid Open is the Dell function which tells your laptop to turn on when opening the lid. Not every laptop in Dell’s range will do this (so don’t panic, thinking that yours is faulty). It’s a function that is becoming more popular and other manufacturers are also using tweaks to bypass the power button.

How to disable ‘Power on Lid Open’

This function is part of the machine’s UEFI (BIOS in old money) and isn’t controlled by Microsoft Windows. The easiest was to access the UEFI is begin with the machine powered off. Tap the F2 (or F12, depending on the model) key whilst powering on the laptop.

With good timing, the machine will drop into the UEFI which you can navigate using the arrow keys or mouse. Head towards the Power menu and look for the Power Management sub-menu. Power on Lid Open should be a toggle-option, which you can click to disable. Click Apply Changes and then let the machine restart. The next time the machine powers down, you’ll need to press the power button to fire it up.

How to enable ‘Power on Lid Open’

See above, it’s exactly the same process except that you’re toggling the Power on Lid Open switch to the on position.

Now I’ve thought about it, Dell’s choice of Power on Lid Open (PoLO) has echoes of Power On Self Test (POST) which has become standard computing nomenclature. For my money, it has the edge over Lenovo’s Flip to Start which is their method of turning on a laptop when opening the lid.

Struggling to get into the BIOS?

About the author

Lee Grant

I can normally be found attacking things with screwdrivers in my small computer repair business or writing a column for PC Pro magazine.

I am also trying to solve a mystery involving David Bowie.

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