If you’ve found that your Sleep mode menu is dimmed out in Windows Vista, it’s most likely because Media Center disabled the option when it feels that media is being shared. This is an easy setting to fix, but it’s a little tough to locate without some assistance.

First, you’ll need to open Control Panel. To make things easier, type in “power” into the search box, and then click on “Power Options”.  (for command line hackers, you can just type powercfg.cpl,1 in an admin mode command prompt and get right to the good stuff)

In the resulting screen, click the “Change plan settings” link underneath the currently selected plan.

In this screen, click “Change advanced power settings”.

Now you’ll need to browse down to Multimedia settings \ When sharing media.

Change both of the options to “Allow the computer to sleep”. The menu item for Sleep should be back to normal.

Funny side note: This article was in response to an email from a reader, who signed it “Sleepless in Jersey”. Thanks for the grin =)

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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