Tech Strategy Trends

Feb 27 2011   12:04PM GMT

Stop Windows 7 from Sleeping When You Close Your Laptop

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

I like to be environmentally-conscious and conserve energy. I own a Prius–that should count for something. But, some of the energy-saving “features” in Windows 7 are a bigger pain in the ass than they’re worth.

For example, I do all of my work on a laptop. Generally, the laptop sits under a desk, connected to a full-size monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals, but on a fairly frequent and regular basis I take it out to work in the living room, or off to the neighborhood coffee shop.

After working in my living room, and preparing to return to the actual desk environment, I don’t want the laptop to go to sleep–or worse, hibernate–just because I shut the lid. I need to be able to shut the laptop, and have it continue running while I reconnect it to the myriad of cables under my desk and prepare to be productive once again.

Thankfully, the problem of having the laptop sleep when you close the lid is easily remedied. Just follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Power Options (note: if your Control Panel is showing categories of tools rather than an alphabetical list, see my previous post about how to “fix” that)
  2. In the left pane, click the link that says “Choose what closing the lid does
  3. You will see two columns of options–one for when the laptop is running on battery power, and one for the when the laptop is plugged in.
  4. Go to the third row, labeled “When I close the lid” and set the option you prefer for each column. I have both set to “Do nothing“.
  5. Voila! No more sleeping or hibernating just because I shut the lid of the laptop. Yeah me!

Now, lest you think me some sort of power munching, polluting, environmental destruction machine, I will point out that Windows 7 also has a Power Plan which governs things like when to dim the display, turn off the display entirely, or put the computer to sleep in order to conserve energy. So, although my computer will not sleep or hibernate when I shut the lid, it will go to sleep after 30 minutes of idle time. So there.

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