How to Prevent a Computer From Entering Sleep Mode When Watching Netflix

By Aaron Parson

Netflix forces you to confirm you're still awake and watching after every two TV episodes, but if your computer is falling asleep mid-episode or halfway through a long movie, the problem lies in your PC's settings. Usually, Windows 7 and 8 recognize when you're watching a video and automatically stay awake, but if your computer insists on a mid-show nap, turn off the sleep mode timer until you're done watching.

Step 1

**Turn on full-screen mode when watching Netflix** as a possible one-step solution to the problem. Usually, a full-screen video automatically disables sleep mode without requiring you to adjust the system settings, but you need to click the full-screen icon on the Netflix video, not the *Maximize* button on your browser.If your computer still falls asleep during videos, if you don't want to use full-screen mode or if your PC falls asleep the instant a movie ends, change your Windows settings.

Step 2

Click the **Power** icon on your taskbar or in the hidden taskbar icons and choose **More Power Options**. If you don't see the icon, search for **Power Options** on the Windows 7 Start menu or Windows 8.1 start screen to find the Power Options Control Panel.

Step 3

Click **Change Plan Settings** by the currently selected power plan, indicated by a selected radio button.

Step 4

Set the *Put the Computer to Sleep* option to **Never**. If you have a laptop, also set the option in the *Plugged In* column and optionally the *On Battery* column if you also watch Netflix while on battery power. Desktop PCs display only one column of options.You might also want to set the *Turn Off the Display* option to **Never** to keep the screen from going blank. On a laptop, set the *Dim the Display* option, as well. Press **Save Changes** and close the Control Panel to finish. The new settings take effect immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • Turning off the sleep mode timer affects your entire computer, not just Netflix. If you want your computer to sleep automatically at some point, you need to change the settings back after you finish watching.
  • As an alternative to switching the settings on your regular power plan every time you watch Netflix, you can turn off sleep mode on another power plan, such as "High Performance," and simply switch back and forth between power plans in the Power Options Control Panel.