How to Set Computer Sleep & Shut Down Settings

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Set your computer to sleep to save on power.

Learning how to use all of the settings and what they mean can help extend the life and speed of a computer. The sleep, hibernate and shutdown settings can help save energy when your computer is not in use. These modes are used when you are away from the computer for an extended period of time. The sleep mode will store any open information on the hard drive while the computer switches to a lower power level, but it allows you to turn the computer on and resume work where you left off. Changing these settings in your computer is easy.


Step 1

Click on the computer's start button. Find the Control Panel option and select it with your mouse.

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Step 2

Select Power Options. You will see several options. There should be an option that is already highlighted or selected. This is the current setting on your computer. Click on Change Plan Settings. Your current settings will be displayed. Click on Change Advanced Power Settings.


Step 3

Choose settings. Click on the plus signs in the new dialog box. This will display any options that are available. You will be able to change your sleep, hibernate, and shutdown settings. For instance, you can choose to have your computer hibernate at a certain time, or even wake up at a certain time. If you have a laptop, it will also give you the option to set these while plugged in, or if on battery mode. Click on the Restore Plan Defaults button if you want to reset all changes back to the default setting for your computer.


Step 4

Click the "OK" button when you are done selecting your settings. Select the Control Panel box that still shows your basic power settings. Click on the "Save Changes" button. Exit the Control Panel. Your settings are now saved and are in effect.


Using the hibernate option is similar, but instead of going into a lower power level, the computer actually switches off.

Before you shut down the computer, you must save all of your work. This shuts off all power and will not automatically save your open information. Anything will be lost if you do not save it yourself.