Is there any way to keep a laptop screen turned off even if some key is pressed? Sometimes you may need to fast-forward or rewind a sound clip, but do not want the screen to come back on. Is it possible to prevent that from waking up the screen?

I don't have any button to do this on my laptop.

I'm looking for a virtual display device to allow windows to project to second screen only.

  • Not that I know of... your question needs some clearing up. Why is the monitor off in the first place? Why is it turning back on an issue? – Wutnaut Apr 22 '14 at 19:52
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    There are numerous reasons why one may want to do this, personally I sleep in the room my computer is in - so forcing it to keep the monitor off would be helpful. Unfortunately I have yet to find a way other than literally turning off the power - which is not possible for a laptop. – zeel Apr 22 '14 at 20:07
  • Another reason this is needed is because if you have a script that moves the mouse or clicks every now and then... it will wake up your screen. We want to be able to keep the screen off (thus saving lots of energy and heat). – Ahmed Sep 15 '18 at 4:02

There is an easy way: most laptops have a Fn-hotkey to switch between LCD / External display / Both. Switch to external display and press any keys you want without waking up the screen, then switch back to LCD to see what have you messed up :-). I think, on Dell it was Fn+F5, on my Thinkpad it is Fn+F7.


There are also mechanical tricks. If the screen open/close sensor is mechanical, it can be pushed with some small object (and probably scotch tape). If it is magnetic, you can try to fiddle with some small magnet to discover it and trick into thinking the screen is closed.

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    Good point but the screen turns on again because windows cannot identify a second screen – SherifKhalifa Apr 22 '14 at 21:25
  • On Thinkpads Fn+F3 will switch off the screen instantly. (On newer ones, with the battery symbol, it can be configured to do something else.) – MKaama Apr 23 '14 at 0:40
  • I do not recommend "fiddling with some small magnet" anywhere near a computer. – zeel Apr 23 '14 at 16:47
  • "windows cannot identify a second screen" — what happens in Linux or before loading Windows (can be paused with F8)? If return from non-existing external display is hard-wired and/or enforced by BIOS, bad luck. But a Linux distro (ChromeOS in my case) with precise drivers for your display hardware can do miracles like changing brightness beyond normal limits, to completely dark. Which means, a software solution is possible. – MKaama Apr 29 '14 at 15:21

I might be a little unclear regarding your question. To my understanding you want to prevent a mouse/keyboard from waking your computer or does this include software? Sticking with the hardware you can probably use:

Device Manager > Keyboards > [Keyboard You User] > Right Click - Properties > Power Management

Untick "Allow this device to wake my computer". Rinse and repeat for your mouse.

enter image description here


Have just found a nice article from howtogeek if you want further reading.

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    Unfortunately this won't actually work. This prevents the device from waking the computer from sleep, but it will not prevent it from waking the monitor. – zeel Apr 22 '14 at 23:53
  • @zeel | I might have misunderstood the question. Isn't the OP trying to prevent the monitor waking from a keyboard press? – Matthew Williams Apr 22 '14 at 23:56
  • Yes, which the method described above will not do. The power option keeps the device from waking windows from sleep mode - but it does not apply to the screen being asleep. Therefore devices set to not wake the computer will still wake the screen. – zeel Apr 23 '14 at 0:00

Device Manager lists for every device that can wake up your computer whether it's also allowed to. Microsoft

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  • Devices that can not wake the computer still can wake the monitor, so this won't help. – zeel Apr 22 '14 at 23:55
  • @zeel: No, that's not possible. The monitor wakes up when the videocard in the PC sends a signal, and that videocard in the PC obviously can't send a signal if the entire PC is asleep. There's no direct connection between the keyboard and the monitor bypassing the PC. – MSalters Apr 23 '14 at 7:24
  • @MSalters: I'm talking about just turning off screen without going to sleep, like an alternative to the physical power button of the desktop PC monitor if you know what I mean. – SherifKhalifa Apr 23 '14 at 15:01

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