How-To Geek

Re-Enable Sleep Mode in Windows Vista

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 =)

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/13/07

Comments (47)

  1. Charles Hileman

    I am not able to get the right settings for sleep and wakeup on Vista. When it does go to sleep it will not respond to the mouse or power button to come alive again. What steps should I take from the beginning to get settings right.

  2. Larry

    Per my previous message, I found this fix. Vista has been such a pain. Seems the disk clean-up tool, kills hybernation and hybrid sleep modes:

    Below works, my PC now has both Hybrid Sleep and Hybernation.


    After you use the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows Vista, you may experience the following symptoms:

    You cannot see the Hibernate option in Power Options.

    When you use the sleep feature, the computer does not recover its settings if power is lost.


    This problem occurs when the Disk Cleanup Tool disables the hibernation file. The hibernation file must be enabled to access the hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista.
    When the hibernation file is disabled, and the hybrid sleep feature is enabled, a backup of open programs and open files will not be saved to the disk when you use the sleep feature in Windows Vista. Additionally, if the computer loses power while the Windows is in sleep mode, open programs and open files will not be recovered, and any unsaved work will be lost.


    To resolve this problem in Windows Vista, run the powercfg -h on command at an Administrative command prompt to enable the hibernate feature and the hybrid sleep feature. To run this command, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Accessories.

    2. Right-click Command Prompt, click Run as administrator, type powercfg -h on, and then press ENTER.

  3. gbg

    Perfect solution!

  4. Joseph

    Thanks! It solved part of the problem. Now “Hibernate” is back, but “sleep” function is still unavailable (in the shade of grey). Any suggestions?

  5. Sal

    My “Dell” computer does not go into sleep mode. I followed all the steps here and it still does not go into sleep mode. I had this problem before and now it’s back again. The Dell tech that solved this problem last time said it had something to do with my DSL connection always being on. He changed some setting and it was working great again. But now for some reason it is not working again. This is all very confusing. Please help.


  6. Pippo

    Sal – go to Device Manager and expand Network Adaptor. Select your adaptor and then the Power Management tab. De-select the “Wake on’ check box(es). Good luck.

  7. Jess

    Thanks so much! Now I don’t wake up in the morning to find the battery in my Toshiba laptop dead anymore.

  8. Scott

    You helped greatly, more than I can say for Dell or Best Buy

  9. Sam

    This is completely amazing!!!
    My computer laptop would never go to sleep, and i was getting really worried.
    Microsoft not Dell could figure it out!

    Thanks so much!!!

  10. lola

    pippo, thank alot for putting this solution. It works perfect for my desktop. I had same problem as Sal. so Sal do it and it will work :)
    and thanks Pippo.

  11. Steve

    I hope this thread is still alive! I tried your powercfg fix however this is the line i get:

    the request is not supported

    the followong items are preventing hibernation on this system.
    there are one or more legacy drivers installed:
    an internal system component has disabled hibernation

    Please Please Please Help!

    If it helps it seems my hibernation option only vanished AFTER i updated my Pc-Cillin…

  12. graham

    That worked a treat! THANK YOU PIPPO.

  13. Shekhar

    Thanks bro. You’re an angel!

  14. Jokersmith

    I am still having a problem with my sleep being greyed out. I have tried all the suggestions above. I have hibernate but no sleep.

  15. Greg

    I have been in contact with Dell for weeks trying to solve this problem and only yesterday I found this post from Pippo. How come Dell doesn’t know about this solution? Thanks Pippo.

  16. John Silvester

    GREAT! Now I can finally use the sleep function instead of having to turn off and on the computer all the time. Now working the way it should have been all the time. Many thanks Pippo and to the howtogeek website people. Regards, John S.

  17. Irene

    Now i can not only choose between turn off functions but also switch between languages. thanks!

  18. John

    Thank you so much! Your solution has solved a problem that has bugged me for months – I never would have thought to look at multimedia settings. Great work!

  19. sophie

    hey guys :)

    i tried everything you’ve said here but i still have my sleep grayed out :( and it happened after i installed the sp1 updates or whatever that thing was…. please can anyone help??!

  20. Lue

    Hi. I’ve tried the suggestion and my SLEEP MODE did not come on. I think ever since I installed updates like the Safari Internet…maybe waaay before that, I lost BOTH my Hibernation and Sleep Mode. I didn’t know what I do. I even tried the Device Manager but I couldn’t find the Network Adapter. I’m very stressed because I lost my Hibernation and Sleep mode. Please help me!

  21. Wilfredo

    I have tried all the suggestions from above. The last suggestion where I have to go to command promt, it prompted me with the answer that says
    The following items are preventing hibernation on this system.
    There are one or more legacy drivers installed. an internal system component has disable hibernation.

    any help from any body will be greatly appreciated

  22. Maria

    I’m in the same boat as everyone else that’s lost the sleep funtion. Funny thing, when I contacted Microsoft to ask for help, they suggested this website. Not that I’m say this place isn’t good, it’s just odd that they can’t fix their own problem. I’ve tried all the suggestions and I’ve got nothing in return, I have no idea why it suddenly stopped working. And I get the same message as Wilfredo when I try the command prompt. I’m so confused. Help… Thanks.

  23. J2

    I, as well, used to be able to click “Sleep Mode” and the computer would seemingly “power down” and the blue light would flash. I have a Dell, and now, for whatever reason (even after all these solutions) can neither see Hibernation mode or have Sleep Mode work properly. Any programs that can be INSTALLED to fix this?

  24. cisco

    thank you guys my problem was solved,I tried so many things but in the end it had something to do with the network adapter, now my pc. sleeps and hibernates thanks…….

  25. Woody

    This has been such an annoying problem for me. The solution for me is pippo’s reply on March 20, 2008. Finally I have my Dell working as it should have been working months ago!

  26. NIraj Bhatera

    I tried enabling hibernation in my laptop thought the commnad prompt but there was an error
    ” The system could not create the hibernation file. The specific error code is 0cc000007f

  27. Corey

    I am still having the problem of no sleep mode or hibernation, was there ever a resolution?

    I also get the message with the vga save issue as mentioned above.

  28. Cedric

    If your sleep button is still disable after trying all available options. This is because your current VGA graphic card does not support sleep mode.

    To get more details on why sleep more cannot be enable.

    Go to CMD in administrative mode.

    type powercfg /L

    It will list down the reasons on why your computer cannot sleep.

  29. Michael

    I have been living with this problem for soooooooo long, and now I find pippo’s solution. It’s now working as it should have been over a year ago. Dell support is useless.

  30. Sauce

    Thank you so much, this was a quick fix!!!!!

  31. Joseph

    thank you this helped me find exactly what i was looking for, now my computer works like a dream again

  32. blerti

    hi i tried everything on this and it still doesnt work my sleep is in gray and i cant press it plz help

  33. Katie

    Thank you SO much! As I dont have a power button on my laptop anymore, sleep was the only option for me, and suddenly last night it started working! Thanks so much! :)

  34. Marko

    Hi all,

    I’ve noticed that several users were complaining about inability of using Sleep/Hibernate option (although they followed the prodecure above). I encountered the same issue today, when I tried to enable Sleep/Hibernation on my “Acer Aspire 7735Z” laptop that runs WinVista Business SP2 (x86).

    The root cause was the VGA driver. I went to Acer’s site, downloaded and installed latest VGA drivers. After that, my laptop rebooted and the problem disappeared! I’ve got both options (Sleep and Hibernate) enabled in Start menu!!

    So, my suggestion is that you try to contact your laptop manufacturer to find the latest driver for the OS you’re running. Of course, this is only in case that running above procedure didn’t give any success.

    Thank you,

  35. fernando

    Enable grayd out sleep option


    this will show you why sleep is not enabled. mine was display driver wasnt installed. i installed the vgs driver and bomba it worked

    sleep not working bcos VGA not installed or supported
    BOMBA !!!!!!!

  36. Laura

    This problem has been bugging me for ages and I had tried everything to fix it. Finally stumbled across this and voila! my sleep mode is back to normal. Thanks so much for the easy to follow advice. :)

  37. Joe

    Mine was blurred and grayed out too. It’s crazy! based on what I read here, I got my Dell driver disc back out since I seem stuck restoring my personal settings and software the long and tedious way after a hard drive crash has left the original drive unbootable. After I reinstalled the Intel video driver, the sleep option was back in the Start shutdown menu!

  38. Joe

    It might be helpful that I add that my hard drive crashed due to a simple power outage while I was on the computer :(.

  39. nss

    thank you, was very helpful…

  40. Greg J. Murphy

    This problem has been driving me and my family bananas for months!! I even went to the trouble of reinstalling Vista to see if that solved it. Dell support were no use. I have a Inspiron 530. Since following Pippo’s post, my shutdown problems are solved. Yippee!

  41. Sleeping in CA

    My Toshiba started only sleeping in balanced mode & it was killing me. This was the fix for me. Thx!

  42. Xolani

    Thanks for the tip Marko,

    I tried every fix which was posted before Marko! The hibernation one helped and then Marko’s driver solution.

    I had to download drivers for my video from the Manufacturer of my Notebook to enable the Sleep button.

    Thanks guys.

  43. Ray Payne

    I want to thank you for your article (Re-Enable Sleep Mode in Windows Vista) My computer would never stay in the sleep mode even when I put it to sleep, something kept waking it up. I read every article about this in my google search. Tried a half dozen possible solutions to no avail,However when I tried your solution. Power options,change plan settings,change advanced power settings went into multimedia settings/when sharing media. Click on allow computer to sleep. “BINGO” my computer sleeps like a baby now. Apparently this happens alot to people who have HP computers like me. Thanks again!!!

  44. johnmarie

    i tried the suggestions herein and my hybernation started working, though my sleep still refused. tanx yu’all!

  45. Mikhail

    Thanks for the help, got it fixed and back to normal.

  46. Denae

    Thanks so much! My hybernate is back and I’m a happy camper!:)

  47. Fred

    C:\Users\Brad>powercfg -AVAILABLESLEEPSTATES
    The following sleep states are available on this system: Standby ( S1 S3 ) Hiber
    nate Hybrid Sleep
    The following sleep states are not available on this system:
    Standby (S2)
    The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    so what does S1-3 stand for??

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