I'm running Windows 7 and have the power options currently set up to put the machine to sleep after 2 hours of inactivity.

Is there any way to force the machine not to sleep between certain hours, or to automatically wake up?

I'm assuming this can't be done directly from within the Windows power settings, but is there a third party utility (preferably free) that could take care of this?

I've got backups scheduled every morning at 3-4am, and these don't run if the machine is suspended, so I just need to make sure that the everything is powered up during this time.

5 Answers 5


SmartPower will do the job:

But if you want to keep your computer awake at specific times or when certain programs are running, free program SmartPower will schedule it for you.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5645033/smartpower-tells-your-computer-when-to-stay-awake

Caffeine may be what you're looking for...

Windows only: Tiny utility Caffeine disables or enables the screensaver by simply double-clicking on the icon in the system tray—so you can watch that YouTube video without your screensaver kicking in.

Using the software is easy enough—just double click on the icon in the system tray to turn the screensaver on or off. The application works by simulating a keypress every minute to fool the system into thinking somebody is sitting in front of it. The application also has a number of command-line options that can be used to automatically terminate after a certain amount of time, which could be useful if you frequently watch movies on your PC but want the screensaver to come on after it's over.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5244214/caffeine-disables-or-enables-the-screensaver-easily

  • 1
    Thanks, that looks like it partially solves the problem. It doesn't seem to have any type of scheduling though, and I'll probably forget to activate it each night, but I'll try it out anyway and see how well it works for me :-)
    – Mun
    Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 18:13
  • @Mun: I knew I was missing something, so I did some more searching, and found SmartPower. seems to do the job. see updated answer. good luck!
    – studiohack
    Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 18:19
  • @studiohack - Looks perfect. Will check it out. Thanks!
    – Mun
    Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 18:26
  • @studiohack - Getting a bunch of .net errors from SmartPower. Will email the developer and see if they can help. Might need to stick with Caffeine for now though.
    – Mun
    Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 18:33
  • Insomnia is similar to Caffeine if you have issues: lifehacker.com/5670028/…
    – studiohack
    Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 22:20

To prevent the computer from going to sleep during those hours, you can create another power profile without a sleep timer. Then, you can apply the profile using Windows scheduler and the powercfg.exe tool.

From a command-line box, first run

powercfg -list

It will show you the profiles you have defined and their GUIDs. The power profiles can be applied using the command

powercfg -setactive <GUID>

Schedule a task to apply the non-sleeping profile at the beginning of the period you want the computer to be on, and another task to apply the regular profile at the end of the time period.

Finally, you will want the computer to wake itself up in case it went to sleep before those hours. Windows has the ability to set a wakeup timer when it puts the computer to sleep. It should be able to wake up based on the schedule if the computer is asleep or hibernating, but not if it has been shut down. Your computer's bios may have a setting to schedule a wakeup time, even if shut down.


In addition to the Task Scheduler, Windows 7 also has some power management features that will prolong the life of your laptop, provided you have one, once it's on.

You may find additional tips helpful in this video:



You can use Task Scheduler to have the computer wake up at certain times...

How to Create a Task to Wake up the Computer to Run in Vista and Windows 7 http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/166809-task-scheduler-wake-up-computer.html


Another option with windows 7 professional is to put your system into presentation mode http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/adjust-settings-before-giving-a-presentation

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