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How to turn of the display in Windows 8 without locking or making computer go to sleep ?

The problem is that when I enable ‘Turn off display after x minutes’ feature from control panel, the device goes into sleep after ‘x’ minutes. It seems that both the options – turn off display/put computer to sleep are connected. It devices goes automatically to sleep mode as soon as the display is turned off. So, is there any method to turn off the display of the device without it going into sleep mode ?

Someone wrote in the microsoft forum " The whole key to this problem seems to be the "Turn off the Display" setting. If you have that set to 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc...the computer will go to sleep one minute after you lock the screen. With this setting set to "Never", it doesn't do it. So something is wrong there."

I want to turnoff the display but don't want to lock the device. Is that also possible ?


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Yes you can configure it using nirsoft.net/utils/nircmd.html Place the file in c:/windows folder create a name.bat file and place nircmd.exe monitor off in it –  Ajo Mathew Dec 7 '12 at 11:51

5 Answers 5

I'm using nircmd to turn off my display. You create a shortcut to nircmd.exe and add "monitor off", like this: "D:\Program Files (x86)\nircmd\nircmd.exe" monitor off

You will have to execute this manually every time you want to turn off your display, or you can use the Windows Task Scheduler to run it after some minutes in idle.

Use the 64bit version of nircmd if you are using 64bit Windows 8 / 8.1

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you can place it in windows folder and use diractly –  Ajo Mathew Dec 7 '12 at 11:54
Yes that will work too, or you can add the nircmd folder to your PATH. –  chrki Dec 7 '12 at 11:55
if we palce it in windows we can run command from Run(win+r) which is far easier. –  Ajo Mathew Dec 7 '12 at 11:56
I tried the tool but it didn't work on Windows 8. Any other method ? –  darshshah Dec 7 '12 at 13:00
It works for me. Make sure you download download NirCmd 64-bit if you are using Windows 8 64 bit. –  CK Lee Mar 23 '13 at 10:32

I have tried all of the above, including using nircmd, but below is the only way to turn off the screen without putting the device to sleep:

Look for C:\Windows\System32\scrnsave.scr. Create a shortcut to this on the desktop. Whenever you need to turn off the monitor without putting the device to sleep, double tap on the shortcut. (Using a mouse will not do as the mouse movement will stop the screen saver immediately and turn the screen back on.

It works on my ASUS Vivotab Smart Tablet.

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This is only useful if you don't still want to use the computer. –  Protector one Feb 8 '14 at 12:18
this may make the screen dark but does not turn it off. on my Thinkpad Tablet 2, there is still some residual light being emitted by the screen, so i doubt that this would conserve energy or extend monitor life. It seems to be making a 'black' image rather than turning off the light source. –  adam.r Feb 8 '14 at 20:23

I am Windows 8 user. I have a Asus Vivo Tab and I found out that the only way to turn off monitor without sleep is to set another monitor in duplicate mode.

Then you can use for example the Nircmd and it works without going to sleep.

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You can just change the Power plan options in Control Panel.

  • Open Control Panel.
  • Go to Hardware and Sound > Power options.
  • Select High Performance and click the link Change plan settings
  • Here you can set the options to turn off the display and put the computer to sleep.

Now you just need to set the display time to what you need, and select Never for putting the computer to sleep. You don't need any separate tool.

I think that this is what you're after.

Side note - If you cannot change these options, or they are greyed out then is it possible you have some power management software installed?
On my Samsung laptop I had to uninstalled the "Quick start" program (or whatever it was called) as it was overriding the system power settings.

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Found an easy solution -

  1. Move your cursor to right side corner.
  2. Go to Devices below Start option.
  3. Click Second screen.
  4. And select Second screen only.

This way screen will be turned OFF and will only turned ON when you press any key.

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