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Windows 8 is set to sleep after 30 mins, and it used to work, but recently it's started refusing to sleep. (I can still manually ask it to go to sleep without any issue.)

Put the computer to sleep: 30 minutes

I was having issues a while ago, but it was with my network adapter. That's since been disabled, so it's definitely not that:

enter image description here

I've checked to see what devices are able to wake up my machine, but it only appears to be my mouse:

Powercfg -devicequery wake_armed

Which is odd, because I haven't recently changed my mouse, and more confusing still: The monitor does go to sleep just fine. If it was actually the mouse keeping my system awake, I'm pretty sure the monitor wouldn't go to sleep.

I've checked my Wake Timers, and nothing:

enter image description here

I've also checked my existing requests...

UPDATE: I found something. What to do with it, I don't know...

enter image description here

Note: Even when /requests says that there's "NONE" under every category, my machine still won't sleep(!).

enter image description here

In short: How can I tell what's preventing my computer from Sleeping?

UPDATE: Ok, so I now have a few more pieces of the puzzle. I came back to my computer and it was ASLEEP! Lawks! It seems that the only times it doesn't sleep is if VLC Player is open, even if a video isn't actually playing.

UPDATE UPDATE: Ok, so it won't sleep sometimes when VLC Player ISN'T running, either. Bah!

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If it might be the mouse, try it with the mouse unplugged to confirm? – Journeyman Geek Jan 21 '13 at 15:27
Hmm. As stated in the question, the mouse hasn't changed, and it would stop the monitor from sleeping if it was that... Right? Isn't there some Event which details why it can't sleep? :-/ If you still think it's worth a try, I'll do it. – Django Reinhardt Jan 21 '13 at 15:43
Check Administrative Tools -> Task Scheduler for any tasks that are set to go off. Eg, AdobeFlash, GoogleUpdate, RealPlayer, etc will have tasks that may be scheduled as often as every 5 minutes. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 22 '13 at 3:02
Kind of a nitpick, but have you tried letting it go into hibernation? Personally, I can't remember sleep ever functioning correctly outside of new installs. I have always had issues with services running in the background keeping it awake. Usually it's a virus scanner. Not saying this is your situation. I just keep mine on hibernation. (Not the same thing, I know) – Josh Campbell Jan 30 '13 at 9:38
I am currently also having this problem. Nevertheless, I would not like my computer to go to sleep while playing videos. Moreover, I found out a curious thing. When I disable automatic turning off of the screen, the computer goes to sleep automatically. But it won’t go to sleep automatically after an automatic turning off of the display. That seems very strange. Anyone having this same behaviour? – josefec Dec 26 '13 at 14:31

13 Answers 13

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are several things to check:

  • Power configuration of course
  • Task scheduler
  • automatic wake up for maintenance (network wake up)

I assume your computer is up to date. As you have found that no requests exist, it could not be an interrupt which is causing this. However, its better to check BIOS settings and device manager settings to know which settings and which devices are configured to interrupt. Plus a compatible BIOS update is necessary to let interrupts function accurately.

Besides that, there are problems with multimedia players such as VLC. If it was running, the computer will refuse to sleep. A small piece of software can be found here (which may or may not assist you since you have Windows 8. It works with Windows 7 though).

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That software looks like it's made just for me! I'll try it out. Thanks! – Django Reinhardt Jan 24 '13 at 12:32
It is VLC keeping my computer awake, and it's through the SrvNet process it does it. If I override that process, then my computer goes to sleep WHILE THE VIDEO IS PLAYING :( It looks like the piece of software is just what I needed. Thanks! – Django Reinhardt Feb 3 '13 at 20:42

To answer my own question, it seems that to discover what's preventing your system from sleeping, you can run powercfg -energy and let it do a trace. The resulting report revealed the following for me:

enter image description here

Which lead me to:

enter image description here

Update: It may not have fixed my problem :-/

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This was helpful. System Availability Requests:System Required Request The program has made a request to prevent the system from automatically entering sleep. Requesting Process \Device\HarddiskVolume5\Program Files\Synergy\synergyc.exe Synergy is a program that lets one computer's keyboard/mouse control another computer. So that makes sense! – Ryan Apr 13 '14 at 20:36

My current testing suggests that this problem is (or can be) caused by running processes.

When running powercfg /requests two processes were listed under the SYSTEM category:

  • Print Spooler
    was trying to still print a document

  • Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
    was waiting for playback instructions

After shutting down both services, the system hibernated as expected.

Regarding \FileSystem\srvnet, I found the thread Not sleeping due to : \FileSystem\srvnet which suggests that this is also related to media sharing.

Finally went to: Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center\Advanced sharing settings

And under media streaming - blocked all - and that did the trick! I don't know if there's another way to allow streaming and enable sleeping, but for now, beats running all night long after waking for a time update etc... :-)

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Thanks. I've updated my question. – Django Reinhardt Jan 22 '13 at 1:55
@JohnnyW: Sorry it didn't work out for you :( Sadly I now no longer have a system that displays this issue :\ – Oliver Salzburg Jan 22 '13 at 2:03
Huh! You may have been right, after all. I just found something in my /requests. Any clue? – Django Reinhardt Jan 22 '13 at 12:27
+1 Thanks for your help! – Django Reinhardt Jan 22 '13 at 13:42
@JohnnyW: So, when you run powercfg -energy now, it lists nothing? – Oliver Salzburg Jan 23 '13 at 14:40

In a Command Prompt (cmd) run as Administrator enter this command :

powercfg /requestsoverride driver srvnet System
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This appears to have worked! – Django Reinhardt Jan 30 '13 at 14:15
Agh! Slight problem: Now my computer will go to sleep while I'm watching videos...! – Django Reinhardt Feb 3 '13 at 20:39
I think you should either restart anew by Restore the Default Power Plan Settings, or use something like Don’t Sleep. – harrymc Feb 3 '13 at 21:19

It is an issue with HOMEGROUP in Win8.1 Pro. Mind you, the HOMEGROUP computers that are preventing sleep don't even have to be turned on! Basically, I had to take the three computers in the house and have them leave the old HOMEGROUP. I then created a new HOMEGROUP with a new password and made sure that I could share files and folders back and forth. One computer was a bear and I had to stop sharing entire folders and files (shift-left click to select all files and folders, right click-sharing-stop sharing) and then share the one folder that I wanted to.

To verify that this is your problem, just disable the network adapter and set the sleep to one minute. Wait 5 minutes and see if it sleeps.

Now the two Win8.1 Pro computers sleep! (takes a couple of minutes to fall asleep so some patience is needed).

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Here's another option: set the sleep time to a short time (e.g. 1 minute). Then wait a minute. Your computer shouldn't be gone to sleep, as per your description. Then, you might be able to see in powercfg -lastwake what the problem was, if your computer tried to sleep, but was woken up immediately.

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I created new power scheme set it for 5 min to sleep ( so I could check) "Change Advanced Settings".... On the to "paragraph" of the window is "Change Settings that are currently unavailable" Then scroll down to "Sleep"-Expand "+" "Allow Wake Timers" - "Disable"

Wait to test and it Works

Now set the sleep time for the period you want

Mine is 2 hrs.

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You can use WinSleep to diagnose many sleep issues like this - it shows you a history of sleep/wake times. Some other features they include are:

  • Keeps your computer asleep (while not too busy) as much as possible during periods you specify.
  • Provides a detailed time-line graph showing when your computer was awake, asleep, or hibernating.
  • Provides convenient Sleep and Hibernate buttons for manual use when desired. Shows the current CPU/Disk/Network usage percentages for your computer.

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Can you explain HOW you would go about diagnosing problems using this software? – Django Reinhardt Jun 20 at 14:56

My quess is that the answer is in Task Scheduler. Thanks to your screen shot, we can see your regular maintenance is set. Perhaps it fails at 02:59 and is set to retry?

Have a look in the Task Scheduler Library, if necessary, drill down to the Microsoft and then Windows folder.

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Yes, it is set to retry when the computer is idle for "0 minutes" (oddly enough). Surely there must be some way for Windows to let me know what's keeping it from going to sleep, though? :-/ – Django Reinhardt Jan 12 '13 at 10:20
My logic is powercfg / waketimes tells you what's waking. Task Scheduler allows you to adjust (disable) the task, hence 'Get the job done' that is bringing it out of sleep prematurely. – Guy Thomas Jan 12 '13 at 10:37
Thanks, Guy. The thing is that it's set to run the second the machine goes idle... So it should have definitely run long before the 30 mins timer tries to put it to sleep. – Django Reinhardt Jan 12 '13 at 11:20
Hi, just thought I'd let you know that I'm still having the same problem and my WakeTimers are now completely empty :( – Django Reinhardt Jan 21 '13 at 15:25

Here are the steps to follow when you want to check which process is preventing your system from sleeping:

  • Open Command Prompt (Admin) [in Windows 8, right-click in the bottom-left corner]
  • Type powercfg /energy
  • Wait 60 seconds for it to finish
  • Open the folder c:\windows\system32
  • Sort the files in it on Date Modified
  • Copy the file energy-report.html to the desktop, then open it (with your web browser)
  • Read this document to find out which errors were reported as preventing the system from sleep
  • Try to fix those errors (search the web for "error xxx preventing sleep windows")

E.g. if the “print spooler” is reported to be preventing sleep, go to Devices & Printers control panel, open your printer device, and remove all unfinished print jobs from the queue (i.e. cancel all documents).

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See here, I figured it out finally for my issues: Win 8.1 not going to sleep

I used an option (/WAKETIMERS) which I had not seen too often before on any helping forum, thus I'm posting it here:

powercfg /WAKETIMERS

-> To see the scheduled tasks. Helped me figure out to disable the Windows regular maintenance, which avoided sleeping completely (and not only waking it up in the night).

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I had a similar problem when I upgraded from Win7 to Win10, my computer would no longer go to sleep. The solution for me was to go into Settings-->System-->Power & Sleep-->additional power settings-->change plan settings-->change advanced power settings. Find "sleep" and set "Allow hybrid sleep" to DISABLED. This fixed my problem.

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look at this page It prints a report. The errors are the important part. I couldn't open the html page so i right clicked on the html and opened in word.(you can try write or anything else) There were about 11 errors. The audio driver was one that kept it from sleeping along with srvnet. For the audio driver the report will list the requesting driver device. Mine was VIA High Definition Audio. You have to open cmd in administrative mode and type in the following: *powercfg -requestsoverride "VIA High Definition Audio" system . In quotes type in the name of your requesting driver. My other problem was srvnet. Open cntrl panel, network and sharing center, change advance sharing settings, then turn off all media streaming options.

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I see the link didn't show up so open cmd prompt in administrative mode and type in powercfg.exe /energy. A report will show up in C:\Windows\System32 and open the energy-report.html – Bob Lee Jun 6 at 3:18

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