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 ?


  • 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, 2012 at 11:51

8 Answers 8


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

  • you can place it in windows folder and use diractly
    – Ajo Mathew
    Dec 7, 2012 at 11:54
  • 1
    Yes that will work too, or you can add the nircmd folder to your PATH.
    – chrki
    Dec 7, 2012 at 11:55
  • 2
    I tried the tool but it didn't work on Windows 8. Any other method ?
    – darshshah
    Dec 7, 2012 at 13:00
  • 4
    It works for me. Make sure you download download NirCmd 64-bit if you are using Windows 8 64 bit. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:32
  • 1
    can confirm touchscreen does not react, i use the physical start button on the front of the tablet to togle it back on. now, here's the problem at first it worked as expected, but now when executed it just takes the tablet into sleep mode, i.e. music stops playing Sep 12, 2015 at 11:02

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.

  • This is only useful if you don't still want to use the computer. Feb 8, 2014 at 12:18
  • 4
    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, 2014 at 20:23
  • This is the answer I was looking for.
    – AturSams
    Feb 18, 2017 at 22:24

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.


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.

  • 1
    It works for maybe 30 seconds, then stupid windows wakes up the first screen again saying "We couldn't find another screen to connect to....". I cannot believe its so tremendously difficult to just turn off the display without putting the tablet to sleep. This is straight forwards no problems with Andtoid, but impossible with windows!!!!!!
    – user955732
    Jul 3, 2015 at 14:53

Can't you just disable the lock screen and use a low value for 'Turn off display after x minutes'?

You can turn off the lock screen as follows:

Open notepad and copy&paste the following 4 lines:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Save the file as disablelockscreen.reg. Then double click it - the UAC prompt will show up and ask you for credentials if you are using an account that isn't part of the administrators group. Then accept the reg import.

If you want to enable the lock screen again do the same steps by saving the following 4 lines as enablelockscreen.reg:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


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.


I can't believe this requires third party software... But here are a few options that are simpler than downloading an exe and sending it command line commands:

  • Screen Off by Sanjeev Charla, available at download.cnet.com (warning: cnet have audio ads that play unexpectedly). It's a 16kb .exe that simply turns the screen "blank" (not sure if this is true "off" or black screensaver). Turns back on from use of mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen.
  • ScreenOff 1.1 by Paras Sidhu and The Windows Club, available from The Windows Club or Softpedia. I don't know how reliable those sites are for malware checking. It's a 70kb .exe that apparently properly turns off the screen using a "SendMessage Visual Basic command"
  • Turn Off LCD by a blogger at Redmond Pie. Looks legit but requires the .NET framework to be installed...
  • Linking to cnet and softpedia which offer adware installers is not recommended.
    – megamorf
    Jul 16, 2015 at 15:02
  • Who do you recommend linking to? Is there a meta post with a list? Jul 16, 2015 at 15:22

In Windows 10, you can go to Windows 10 Settings, Accounts, Sign-in options, and select "When PC wakes up from sleep" under "Require sign-in".

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