How to Make Your PC Wake From Sleep Automatically

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When you put your PC into sleep mode, it normally waits until you press a button before it wakes from sleep – but you can have your PC automatically wake from sleep at a specific time.

This can be particularly useful if you want your PC to wake and perform downloads in off-peak hours or start other actions before you wake up in the morning — without running all night.

Setting a Wake Time

To have the computer automatically wake up, we’ll create a scheduled task. To do so, open the Task Scheduler by typing Task Scheduler into the Start menu if you are running Windows 10 or 7 (or Start Screen if you are using Windows 8.x) and pressing Enter.

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In the Task Scheduler window, click the Create Task link to create a new task.

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Name the task something like “Wake From Sleep.” You may also want to tell it to run whether a user is logged on or not and set it to run with highest privileges.

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On the Triggers tab, create a new trigger that runs the task at your desired time. This can be a repeating schedule or a single time.

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On the conditions tab, enable the Wake the computer to run this task option.

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On the actions tab, you must specify at least one action for the task – for example, you could have the task launch a file-downloading program. If you want to wake the system without running a program, you can tell the task to run cmd.exe with the /c “exit” arguments – this will launch a Command Prompt window and immediately close it, effectively doing nothing.

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Save your new task after configuring it.

Putting The Computer to Sleep

Put the computer to sleep using the Sleep option instead of shutting it down. The computer won’t wake up if it’s not in sleep mode. You can also change Windows’ power saving options to have the PC automatically sleep after it hasn’t been used for a while or when you press specific buttons. (If you’re using Windows 8.x the sleep option is on the profile menu on the Start screen.)

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You can also create a scheduled task that puts the PC to sleep. See: Make Your PC Shut Down at Night (But Only When You’re Not Using It)


Wake On LAN is another method you can use to wake computers – wake on LAN works over the network.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.