I’ve had a lot of problems with Windows 7, but I still use it regularly with my MacBook Pro. A new issue that recently surfaced has to do with the screensaver and power options. I set my screensaver to start after 10 minutes, but nothing happened! I also set my PC to go to sleep after 1 hour and turn off the screen after 30 minutes. For some reason the screen went off after 30 minutes but the computer never went to sleep!
If you’re having trouble with your monitor not turning off or your computer not going to sleep at the time intervals you’ve set, it could be caused by a number of different issues. In this article I will try to walk you through all the different methods I have tried and hopefully one of them will work for you.
Also check out my other posts, Ultimate Guide to Fixing Sleep Problems in Windows and Windows 7 Will Not Sleep for other possible solutions.
Method 1 – Unplug Mouse/Keyboard
If you have one of those fancy USB or Bluetooth or wireless mice/keyboards, try unplugging or unplugging them and see if the problem goes away. Many people have said that once the mouse was disconnected, the problem just disappeared. It seems that some mice keep sending signals to the computer even when it is not being used, thereby preventing the computer from sleeping. Obviously this isn’t the ideal solution as it would be annoying not to use your mouse with a desktop. But for starters, at least you can find out if that’s the problem. If so, try method 2.
Method 2 – Update Drivers
If you are using Windows 7 64-bit, you should try to find and download the correct 64-bit drivers for your mouse or keyboard. Using older drivers can cause this problem so it’s a good idea to update them yourself by going to the manufacturer’s website and downloading them. Make sure the drivers are for the specific model of your keyboard/mouse.
Method 3 – Disconnect all USB devices
Related to method 1, you should try to disconnect all your USB devices and check the issue. This includes things like USB sticks, external hard drives, or other USB hardware. Some people have commented that they have this problem with MagicJack, which connects via USB.
Method 4 – Disable Wake Features
Another way to potentially solve this problem is to prevent hardware from waking the computer from sleep mode. Normally, you’d want your mouse/keyboard to do this, so there’s no need to change that, but other hardware may prevent the screensaver and power options from ever activating.
To do this, click on Start and type in Device Manager. Open Device Manager and right click on a piece of hardware such as the network card and click Properties†
Then click on the Power management tab and uncheck the box that says Allow this device to wake the computer from sleep mode†
Note that you don’t have this tab for all items in the Device Manager, only for those who can actually activate the computer. You can try disabling items one by one and see when the problem goes away. It could be some other hardware on your system that keeps the computer from sleeping or turning off the display.
You can also find out which device last turned off your computer by going to the command prompt and entering these commands:
powercfg /devicequery wake_armed
Method 5 – Advanced Power Options
By default, in Windows 7 you can choose a power plan and set your power settings there. However, there are also advanced power options that you can set and sometimes the plan and advanced settings do not match. The advanced settings override the power plan and so you may have set something there but it won’t work because of what is set in advanced power options.
Click on Start and type in Power Options. This opens the Power Options dialog box. click on Change subscription settings next to the active power plan.
Click now Change advanced power settings on the next screen.
Finally, here’s where you can go: sleep and Display and make sure the values here match those in your power plan. If not, change them and hopefully your problem will go away.
Method 6 – Power off and on
The last thing to try if nothing else works is to turn off the laptop or computer, remove the battery or unplug the computer, wait about 5 minutes, and then turn the computer on again. It’s amazing how this can fix some USB port issues that can cause problems with the power settings on the computer. But you really need to make sure you remove the battery or unplug the computer, not just shut it down.
If you’re still having this issue in Windows 7, comment here with your settings and any additional details and we’ll try to help. Enjoying!