In third world countries where power resources are already quite scarce, it doesn’t hurt to save some energy wherever possible. This may include turning off any extra lights, appliances and even your monitor when you’re not around your computer. It’s true that with the advancement in technology, manufacturers have now created computer displays that don’t put a major dent in your monthly electricity bill, but it’s still advisable to keep the screen off when you’re not using your PC, not only to save energy costs but also for its longevity. Though most people simply find it quite tedious to constantly reach the on/off button on the display itself. If you don’t want to turn off your screen using the physical button and are looking for an alternative method, Windows application BlackTop offers a solution. This tiny app allows you to switch off your computer’s display using nothing but a simple hotkey combination.
The application can be really useful for those who don’t want to put their computer to sleep or hibernate states, and would simply like to turn the screen off using the hotkeys. It doesn’t have any complicated settings, nor does it sport a complex UI with a steep learning curve. Moreover, it’s very lightweight, so it won’t be taking up a large share of your CPU and memory resources. While strictly speaking, your display wouldn’t exactly be fully powered off; instead, it’ll get into standby mode the way most monitors do when your PC has been idle for a while; this tool only lets you do that any time you want using its shortcut key combination.
When installed, the application resides in the system tray and runs in the background. The only possible setting that you may change is its Run at Startup option, via the right click context menu. To turn off your screen, simply press Ctrl + Alt + B while the application is running. You will notice that your screen will instantly turn itself off. To turn it back on simply press any key on your keyboard or move your mouse.
Even though it’s quite useful at what it does, it would have been nice if it could allow you to customize the hotkey combination, which is sadly fixed at the provided option for now. Other than that, it’s a great app for quickly turning off the screen to save power. BlackTop works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.