Sleep settings in Windows 10 are vital – particularly if you're using a notebook or tablet. A strict sleep timer helps you squeeze enough juice out to complete the day and stops your laptop from draining when you aren't using it.
For desktop PCs, having the correct sleep settings isn't as vital – but it will affect your power bill and potentially the long-term longevity of your hardware. The more your hardware is used the more power it draws and the more it naturally degrades.
With both, however, there's a balance to be made. You want your sleep settings to be useful, but not for your Windows 10 sleep timer to be so aggressive that it impacts productivity. In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to change your sleep time on Windows 10 via the in-built settings menu. By the end of it, you should have a balance that works well for you. First, though, let's discuss what sleep mode is.
What is sleep mode in Windows 10?
There are various different sleep modes in Microsoft's latest OS. Many get hung up on the details of hibernate vs sleep in Windows 10 and what your computer uses tends to depend on whether it's a desktop or laptop.
In its base form, sleep is a power-saving state that lets your PC quickly resume from where you left off. It stops your CPU from clocking, pauses tasks, and prepares itself for when you next wake up your device. Your computer remains on and your documents are other tasks are saved to your system's RAM.
Hibernate is a more extreme form of sleep typically used by laptops. Rather than the memory, which is volatile, your open programs and documents are saved to your hard drive. This allows the notebook to fully turn off yet still resume from where you left off in a relatively timely manner. It uses the least amount of power.
Hybrid sleep is sort of a combination of the two which is usually used by desktops. Your open documents and programs are saved to both your RAM and hard drive when it enters its low power mode. The reason for this is simple – if your PC is in hibernate and the power goes out, you won't lose your work.
An understanding of these definitions isn't necessary to follow the tutorial below, but having a better understanding of the different modes is always useful. With that said, we'll stop the rambling and show you how to keep your computer from sleeping when you don't want it to:
How to Change Sleep Time on Windows 10
If you're wondering how to keep your computer from sleeping, the answer, like many things on Windows 10, is the settings menu. Microsoft has simplified the process over the years to make adjusting the sleep timer basically foolproof.
- Open settings
- Click ‘System'
- Change your Windows 10 sleep timer
The sleep setting, meanwhile, determines when your PC goes into a deep power saving mode which will take a bit longer to jump back into put save more power.
In the left sidebar, click “Power & sleep” to enter your power settings. In here you'll find two drop-downs – one for the screen and one for the PC itself.
As you can imagine, the sleep setting for the screen just determines how long it will stay on while you're not using it. Your PC will still be running as normal in the background, but as the screen is one of the biggest power drains you'll still get a significant boost.
If you're using a laptop, you'll see these settings twice – once for when you're on battery and once on power. Set them all to suit your preferences and close the Settings windows at your leisure. They'll instantly apply without the need for a restart.