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On a Windows 8-enabled Microsoft Surface Pro I have a "High Performance" power mode selected. When the device is locked via Win + L it still goes to sleep after a minute or so.

Screen saver is disabled. "Close lid" setting is set to "Nothing" for current power mode. Plugged in settings for Sleep area are also set so that it should never go to sleep:

enter image description here

Where else could I check so that my Surface Pro doesn't go to sleep and finishes downloads? Thank you.

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Try editing ALL power modes or deleting all but one of them. There's a possibility that there's a built-in feature for your computer to automatically switch to the power-saving option when locked. You could also try just not locking it. Though I figure you have a reason for locking your computer. Oh yeah, and you could take a look at the BIOS options (if available on a Surface...?). Maybe there are relevant options over there. – Ariane Jul 27 '13 at 18:27
@Ariane this timeout can't be changed via GUI. Read the KB article I linked. – magicandre1981 Jul 27 '13 at 18:47
up vote 2 down vote accepted

MS created a KB article about this issue:

Monitor powers off after 1 minute when PC is locked

This behavior is by design in Windows 8. By default, when the console is locked, Windows waits for 60 seconds of inactivity before powering off the display. This setting is not configurable using the Windows user interface.


Using the PowerCfg.exe utility, you can configure the display timeout used when the PC is in an unlocked state as well as when it is at a locked screen. From an administrative command prompt, the following commands can be used to control the display timeout:

powercfg.exe /setacvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOIDLE (time in seconds)

powercfg.exe /setacvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOCONLOCK (time in seconds)

powercfg.exe /setactive SCHEME_CURRENT

The VIDEOIDLE timeout is used when the PC is unlocked and the VIDEOCONLOCK timeout is used when the PC is at a locked screen.

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