How to Keep My Computer From Going Into Idle

From providing games for amusement, communicating with people across the globe, managing home budgeting and creating business reports, the computer has proven adept at many home and work tasks. You may leave yours on 24 hours a day to take advantage of round-the-clock news access, midnight backups and up-to-the-minute software updates. To save energy, however, many computers to into idle mode when left alone for a defined period of time. You may want to prevent that from happening if you have a task that requires processing for an hour or two.

Computer with flat screen and mouse
credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

PC

Step

Click “Start” and then choose “Control Panel” to display the “Control Panel" window.

Step

Double-click “Power Options” to display the “Power Options Properties” dialog.

Step

Click the “Power Schemes” tab. Choose “Always On” for the “Power Schemes” drop-down.

Step

Choose “Never” for all the drop-downs under “Setting for Always On” such as “Turn Off Monitor” and “System Standby.”

Step

Click the “Hibernate” tab and put a blank into “Enable Hibernation” check box if it is enabled.

Step

Click “OK” to save your settings and close the dialog box.

Mac

Step

Click “System Preferences” from the dock to display the “System Preferences” dialog box.

Step

Click “Energy Saver” to display the “Energy Saver” dialog box. Click “Show Details” to display the sleep options.

Step

Move the sliders to “Never” under “Put the Computer to Sleep” and “Put the Display to Sleep.”

Step

Put a blank into the “Put the Hard Disks to Sleep” check box if it is enabled.

Step

Close the dialog boxes to save your changes.