Even if you have an external monitor, using a Windows 11/10 laptop with the lid closed may require the PC to go to sleep. Here’s how to stop that.
If you have an external monitor connected to your laptop, you may prefer to close the laptop lid and perhaps place the device on a vertical stand to free up desk space. Unfortunately, the default power options in Windows prevent you from doing that. Close the lid and you activate sleep mode.
In this article, you’ll learn how to keep your Windows 11 or 10 laptop on, even with the lid closed, by reconfiguring the power button and lid settings. You’ll also learn how to troubleshoot your computer if closing the lid continues to put it to sleep despite your preferences being set correctly.
Related: Do you have an Apple MacBook? learn how to use your Mac laptop with lid closed†
To prevent your PC from sleeping when you close the lid of your laptop, adjust the power settings for your Windows 11/10 PC so that it stays awake. To do this, you need to access the power management management console through Control Panel.
1. Open the Home menutype Control paneland select Open†
2. Select the category labeled Hardware and Sound†
3. Select Power management†
Remark: On a Windows 10 laptop, you can open the following screen by right-clicking the Battery icon in the system tray (right corner of the taskbar) and select Power management†
4. Select Choose what closing the lid does on the left side of the Power Options window.
5. Use the drop-down menus next to the When I close the lid to determine how your laptop behaves when you close the lid. The default preferences are set to: sleep†Sleep mode for both On battery and Plugged in† To keep it awake, change that to Do nothing†
Warning: Configuring your laptop to stay awake while running on battery can cause accidental heat damage, for example if you put the device in a bag while it’s still running. We recommend that you only change the lid preferences to: Do nothing for the Plugged in column.
6. Select the Saving Changes button to apply your changes.
You can now shut down your laptop and continue using the operating system through an external display, keyboard, and mouse. To return your lid preferences to how they were, repeat the steps above and switch from Do nothing until sleep†Sleep mode†
If closing the lid of your laptop still causes the operating system to go to sleep despite changing the power button and device lid preferences, restart the device. If that doesn’t help, here are several solutions that can help you fix the problem.
The best place to start is by resetting your laptop power plan to its default settings. That should resolve conflicting or broken configurations, preventing it from applying your lid preferences.
1. Open the Power management window and select Change subscription settings next to the active power plan.
2. Select Restore default settings for this subscription†
3. Select Yes to confirm.
You must then go back to the previous screen, select Choose what closing the lid does, and reconfigure the lid settings to allow your laptop to work with the lid closed. If the problem persists, try creating a new power plan.
Both Windows 11 and 10 come with a built-in troubleshooter that can detect and resolve issues with conflicting power management settings. Run it and check if that makes a difference.
1. Open the Home menutype Troubleshooting settings and select Open†
2. Select Other troubleshooters†
3. Select Run next Current†
Fast Startup speeds up your laptop when you turn it on, but it can also cause conflicts with power management. Disable the feature and check if that makes a difference.
1. Open the Power management window and select Choose what the power buttons do†
2. Select Change settings that are currently unavailable†
3. Scroll down and uncheck the box next to Enable fast startup (recommended) † Saving Changes†
If the problem persists but only while trying to run the laptop on battery power, use the Device Manager to reinstall the battery driver. Unplug the power adapter before starting.
1. Right click on the Get started button and select Device Manager†
2. Expand Batteries and select Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery†
3. Select Action † Remove device on the menu bar.
4. Select remove†
5. Shut down your laptop. Then reconnect the device to a power source and reboot. The operating system will automatically reinstall the battery driver during startup.
The next solution involves checking for and applying any operating system updates.
1. Open the Home menu and select Settings†
2. Select Windows Update.
3. Select Check for updates†
If Windows Update detects updates, select Download and install to install them. Also select Advanced options † Optional updates and install any hardware-related updates if available.
If your laptop continues to sleep when you close the lid, run the System File Checker and Deployment Image Servicing and Management command-line tools below.
1. Right click on the Get started button and select Windows terminal (administrator) or Windows PowerShell (administrator)†
2. Run the following command:
3. Then run the following command:
DISM /Online /Clean-Image /RestoreHealth
Updating the drivers for your laptop can also fix firmware-related issues that prevent you from using the device with the screen closed. Check the laptop manufacturer’s website:Dell† HP† Lenovo, etc.—for the latest drivers. In addition, you could consider: update the BIOS or UEFI for your laptop†