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PC Monitor Won’t Sleep Automatically (Windows 10) – FIXED

Windows 10 has a built-in feature where, if your system is idle for too long, it will begin to put certain components to sleep. This sleep process starts with the screen locking on inactivity, followed by the monitor turning off i.e., entering sleep, and ends with the entire system entering sleep mode.

Monitor Won't Sleep Automatically

Users can choose when some of the components on their system are put to sleep. Both the display and the system can be set to enter sleep after a period of inactivity that a user can choose. The setting is applied on a per-power plan basis and on a power state-basis i.e., if the system is running on battery or if it’s plugged in.

Monitor Sleep Mode, Explained

The sleep function for the monitor is automatic. If a user never changes it, it will use the default setting and enter sleep accordingly. The default settings generally have a small time-out period so your monitor will likely go to sleep in 2-5 minutes.

Monitor Won't Sleep Automatically

Monitor Won’t Sleep Automatically (Solutions)

If Windows 10 won’t put the monitor to sleep, there may be several reasons behind it. Try the fixes below to determine what is preventing your monitor from going to sleep.

1. Check power plan settings

It’s possible that your monitor won’t sleep because it isn’t time for it to enter sleep. The time-out period may have been set too long and you may be expecting the monitor to enter sleep sooner.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Paste the following in the location bar and tap Enter.
Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options
  1. In the column on the left, select ‘Choose when to turn off the display’.
  2. Open the dropdown under Battery and Plugged in for Turn off display and choose a shorter time period.
  3. Click Save changes.

2. Check active/running apps

Some apps will block Windows 10 from sleeping the display and the system even if the user has been idle. Common examples of these types of apps are media players, torrent clients, and download managers.

Check which apps are running on your system and if any one of them may likely be responsible for blocking sleep for the display.

Any on-going task or script may also be blocking the monitor from going to sleep.

3. System sleep blockers

While system sleep and monitor sleep are two different things, it is possible that an app blocking your system from sleeping is also blocking your monitor from going to sleep. To find out which app is blocking sleep, follow this step.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command: powercfg /requests.
  3. The list of apps that the command returns are blocking the system from sleeping.

4. Force sleep monitor

You can force the monitor to sleep by setting the power button to turn the display off. 

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Paste this in the location bar Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options and tap Enter.
  3. In the column on the left, click Choose what closing the lid does.
  4. Open the dropdowns for When I press the power button and select Turn off the display for both Battery and plugged in options.
  5. Press the power button to put the monitor to sleep.

5. Remove other devices

Some devices connected to your system e..g. an external hard drive may be preventing the system from sleeping. If your hard drive has its own power source, it is all the more likely to prevent sleep on your monitor or system. Disconnect devices and see if the system goes to sleep.

6. Disable USB selective suspend

Try disabling USB selective suspend. It’s supposed to conserve power by selectively turning off USB ports that aren’t being used but it can interfere with the sleep function.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Paste this in the location bar Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options and tap Enter.
  3. Click Change plan settings next to the currently active plan.
  4. Click Change advanced settings.
  5. In the window that opens, expand USB settings.
  6. Set USB Selective Suspend to Disable.
  7. Restart the system for good measure.


The monitor can be turned off manually but the built-in sleep function is obviously better since it automates the function. If your monitor won’t sleep, it is most likely an app that is preventing it. Go through all your apps that are currently running, and you’ll be able to figure out which one is blocking system sleep.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for your article. I had tried all the obvious things before I found it. When I ran the powercfg /requests command, it reported Adobe Creative Cloud had Video Wake Lock set and also something about windows media player as well, neither of which I ever use. When I opened creative cloud there were 3 apps with available updates, so I just clicked update all and then my monitors went to sleep as the first one was updating. While I was composing this comment I ran the command again and it listed Chrome and an Nvidia driver, but my monitors are both sleeping just as I set them to, so this is just another fluke I’ll be adding to my windows bookmark folder so hopefully I’ll find it if I have this problem again

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