By default, Windows 11 PCs go into a sleep mode after a certain period of time. If you’d like to adjust your PC’s sleep delay (or turn it off completely), it’s easy to do in Settings. Here’s how.

Sleeping vs. Turning Off Your Screen

In Windows 11, sleeping and turning off your screen are two different (but related) things. If you put your PC to sleep, it goes into a low-power mode that temporarily shuts off certain parts of the hardware to save power. While asleep, your PC’s screen will turn off as well.

In Windows 11, you also have the option to turn off your PC’s screen but keep your PC awake in the background. That means you’ll save some power typically used by the screen (or extend the screen’s lifespan), but your PC will still be able to perform background tasks when necessary.

RELATED: Should You Shut Down, Sleep, or Hibernate Your Laptop?

How to Adjust Your PC’s Sleep Delay in Settings

To change how long it takes for your PC to go sleep, first launch Settings by pressing Windows+i on your keyboard. Or right-click the Start button and select “Settings” in the menu that appears.

In Settings, click “System” in the sidebar, then select “Power & Battery.”

In Power and Battery options, if the “Screen and Sleep” section is closed, expand it with a click. The menu will reveal several options. If you have a battery-powered portable PC or tablet, you’ll see four of them. If you have a desktop PC, you’ll see only two options.

Expand the "Screen and Sleep" section.

To adjust how long it takes for your portable PC to go to sleep, click the drop-down menu beside “On battery power, put my device to sleep after” and select a time period, such as “15 minutes.” You can also choose “Never” to turn off sleep completely when running on battery power.

Likewise, to change the sleep delay when your PC is plugged in, use the drop-down menu labeled “When plugged in, put my device to sleep after” and choose a time. If you never want your PC to go to sleep, choose “Never.”

Using the drop-down menus, choose a time for when you want your Windows 11 PC to go to sleep.

Just above the sleep options on the same Settings page, you can use the “turn my screen off after” options to select a time delay for when your screen will turn off, independent of going to sleep.

Using the drop-down menus, choose a time for when you want your Windows 11 PC to turn off its screen.

After that, close Settings. Your changes have already been saved. If you selected a specific time for any of the options, your PC will either turn off its screen or go to sleep after that time period. Pleasant dreams!

RELATED: How to Make Your Windows 11 PC Never Go To Sleep

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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