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How to Enable Wake on LAN on Windows 10

You can enable Wake on LAN (WOL) by tweaking some settings in your BIOS and establishing a connection between your computer and a low-power state via a special connection called Magic Packet.

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Okay, don’t let all the technical jargons deter you; Wake on LAN is pretty much an old-school technique, and it’s relatively easy to set up with the steps in this guide. While it’s mostly used by network administrators when troubleshooting or performing patches across multiple computers, you’ll still find it handy as an everyday user.

This guide walks you through everything you need to know about Wake on LAN on Windows 10 and how to set it up.

Why Use Wake on LAN?

One of the biggest advantages of Wake on LAN is its energy efficiency. Why keep the computers running all time when you can simply put them to sleep and wake them back up when you need them, without having to touch them? That results in a noticeable reduction in your utility bills. And need I mention how cool it is to remotely control a computer upstairs while you make yourself a coffee in the kitchen? Yes, that kind of convenience.

How Does Wake on LAN Work?

The mechanics behind Wake on LAN is pretty straightforward. Once enabled, your computer waits to receive information in small parts called magic packets. These packets wake your computer up from sleep mode by including its Media Access Control (MAC) address. 

The packets are sent from a device on the same network as your computer, such as a smartphone. And remember: Wake on LAN can only work when your computer is hibernated or in sleep mode. 

Requirements for Setting Up Wake on LAN

For starters, it’s worth pointing out that Wake on LAN doesn’t work over a wireless connection. The target computer must be connected to an Ethernet cable, and the WiFi connection may have to be disabled for Wake on LAN to work correctly.

As suggested earlier, you’ll also need to enable Wake on LAN in your computer’s BIOS and then the Windows operating system itself. How you get into the BIOS differs, as there is a dedicated key depending on your device’s manufacturer.

However, hitting F2 repeatedly immediately after you power on your system or restart it should give you access to the BIOS on some PC models. On some others, the dedicated key is Del or Esc. Either way, you can search for that of your device with the keyboard, “BIOS key for ‘Device Model’” on Google.

How to Enable Wake on LAN Windows 10

With the fundamentals out the way, it’s time to enable Wake on LAN on your computer, one running on Windows 10. The following steps will guide you:

  1. Boot up the BIOS on your device
  2. Locate and enable Wake on LAN from the myriad of Settings

Quick Note: Wake on LAN is automatically enabled in BIOS on some device models, but it’s essential to cross-check. The option to enable it in BIOS varies as well, depending on the settings arrangement from your manufacturer. But most people find theirs under the Power tab in BIOS.

       3. Once you’ve enabled wake on LAN in BIOS, exit and save the changes

       4. Boot up Windows normally

       5. Click on the search bar next to the Windows icon and type Device Manager

       6. Click on the relevant app that comes up as the result

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       7. In the Device Manager window, click on Network Adapters to expand the options therein

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       8. Right-click on your Ethernet controller

Quick Note: You may find many options when you expand Network Adapters. You may find options that have VPN, TAP, or Host-only; ignore them. You should look for one that has either “Adapter,” “Controller,” or something similar. 

       9. Once you’ve right-clicked on your Ethernet controller, select Properties from the context menu

       10. In the Properties window, click the Power Management tab

       11. Check the following boxes:

  • Allow The Computer To Turn Off This Device To Save Power
  • Allow This Device To Wake The Computer
  • Only Allow A Magic Packet To Wake The Computer

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       12. Now, click the Advanced tab

       13. In the drop-down under Property, select Wake on Magic Packet

       14. Also, ensure the drop-down under Value is set to Enabled

       15. Click Ok to save all changes

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Now, it’s time to delve into Windows Settings app. There isn’t much to do here; just use the following steps:

  1. Press Windows key + I to launch the Settings app
  2. Navigate to and click Network & Internet
  3. Click Ethernet on the left lane

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       4. Select your Ethernet name and scroll down to Properties

       5. Locate Physical Address (MAC) and copy the 12 number-letter characters separated by dashes

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Finally, let’s set up your wake device. I’m using an Android smartphone in this test, so you need to have Google Play on your device to download the required app. 

  1. Download the Wake on LAN app
  2. Once it has completed installation, connect your device to the same network as your computer via WiFi (You can use a WiFi bridge for Ethernet)
  3. Tap the + icon on the app’s homepage to go to the search screen
  4. Pull down to begin the search
  5. If you don’t find your computer, enter it manually with the MAC address you copied earlier
  6. Give it a nickname and tap Add Device

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       7. Now, put your target computer to sleep or click the power button if you’re using a laptop

       8. Once your device is in sleep mode, return to the Wake on LAN app and tap it

That should wake your device, spurring it to boot back up in a matter of seconds. You can also check out the 7 Best Wake on LAN Tools to get the most out of this technique.

Related: How to wake a Windows 10 laptop from sleep from an external keyboard

How to Turn Off Wake on LAN Windows 10

To disable Wake on LAN, you must follow all the steps highlighted in this guide and uncheck or disable all the options enabled to turn on wake on LAN Windows 10. You might want to leave your BIOS out of it, though. When Wake on LAN is turned off in the operating system, the option in the BIOS becomes ineffective.

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